I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

Sam and Gary, employees at a sporting goods company, discuss the results of recent survey administered by their company.

HELPFUL TIP: Lively discussion is often part of business meetings. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas when the time is right.

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

Listen to the conversation by pressing the “Play Audio” button and answer the questions. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

Link audio : http://englishvn.net/upload/1/bs1.ram

1. What was the main focus of the survey?

A. leisure sporting activities

B. average age of athletes

C. durability of sporting equipment
2. Which group seems to be most active in sports?

A. 18-26

B. 27-35

C. 36-45

3. Which sport was cited as the third most popular?

A. jogging

B. tennis

C. cycling

4. What is NOT one of Gary’s marketing strategies?

A. target the 18 to 26 year-old age

B. sell tennis rackets

C. carry more athletic shoes

5. Why does Sam want to target the 46-55 age group?

A. They have more buying power.

B. They are very health conscious.

C. They tend to enjoy sports more.

Score =
Correct answers:

Gary: Sam, could you review the results of the survey on leisure sporting activities again? We need to plan out our proposal for this Friday’s business meeting.

Sam: Sure, Gary. I’ve summarized the results in the handout, broken down by consumer age groups and sporting activities. The survey was administered to 550 men and women between the ages of 18 and 55 years old, and the results have been compiled in the following age groups: 18 to 26, 27 to 35, 36 to 45, and 46 to 55. According to the results, the most active group involved in sporting activities are those between 18 and 26 years old, followed by those 36 to 45 years old.

Gary: Okay.

Sam: As far as particular sports are concerned, people in these two groups cited jogging as their favorite recreational sport followed by skiing, tennis, swimming, and cycling.

Gary: And what about these groups broken down by gender?

Sam: Oh, Gary, thanks for bringing that up. Men appear to be slightly more active than women in the 18 to 26 year-old age group, but women seem more active in the other three groups.

Gary: Hmm. Based on what you have said, I think we should consider targeting the 18 to 26 year-old age group more in the future. I also feel we should consider expanding our line of athletic shoes, particularly jogging and tennis footware. We also have to come up with a more appealing slogan aimed at this age group.

Sam: I see what you mean. However, when these results are compared with the survey carried out three years ago, we can see a growing trend among older consumers–those 14, I mean 46 to 55–who are becoming more conscious and concerned about staying fit. I believe this trend will continue, so we should focus on this group instead.

Gary: I see your point. Well, let’s meet again on Wednesday to iron out more of the details of this proposal.

Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • survey (noun): questionnaire or a detailed critical inspection
    – The company is conducting a survey to find out what new products its customers want.
  • leisure (adjective; also noun): time available for ease and relaxation
    – I try to set aside an hour or so every weekend for leisure activities with my children.
  • summarize (verb): sum up or give a summary of
    – The president doesn’t have the time to read the whole report, so you better summarize it for him.
  • break down (verb): to analyse data into different categories; also to stop functioning because of mechanical failure
    – The student population at this school can be broken down into several main groups.
  • compile (verb): put together, collect or accumulate
    – I need to compile the data and write the report by Friday.
  • cite (verb): to make reference to or mention
    – The president cited several reasons for poor earnings during the latter part of the year.
  • target (verb): to aim at or set a goal toward
    – The management has decided to target their new line of laptops at university students.
  • appealing (adjective): able to attract interest or draw favorable attention
    – Changing the decor of the restaurant will create a more appealing atmosphere for older customers.
  • slogan (noun): a favorite saying or motto
    – We need to come up with a new slogan that will better represent our product.
  • iron out (verb): straighten out, settle, or resolve
    – I prefer not to proceed with the plan until we iron out some of the details.
III. Post-Listening Exercises [Top]

Take the roles of the two people in this conversation and summarize their business meeting. What personality traits are important in a person to conduct good business?