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In the modern business world, teleconferencing is an essential means through which business associates in different places communicate with each other. Teleconferencing may be done through audio or both audio and video channels, and is a cost-effective way of conducting business meetings with colleagues and associates who are in different parts of the same country or the world.

Because teleconferencing is dependent on long-distance communication and sometimes unreliable technology, problems in communication can often arise. For example, participants may not be able to hear each other because of audio problems. Also, a frequent concern is that native speakers of English tend to speak very quickly, and non-native speakers may find it difficult to follow what they are saying over a conference call. In such cases, it is useful to know how to interrupt politely, ask for clarifications, and handle general problems in communication.


You will now listen to a teleconference with three speakers who are all from the same company, but work in different locations. Jack, a senior level associate at a global insurance agency, is facilitating the teleconference from his office in London. The participants are Jack’s colleagues Michelle from Hong Kong and Patrick from Edinburgh.