HOW TO REACT TO A BRIEFING
In Part B of Task 1 you have to ask questions or comment on the briefing of the second candidate.
You have 1-2 minutes for this part.
The aim of this part is to demonstrate the ability to:
ask for information
ask for explanation
object to arguments
agree/disagree with opinion
While your colleague is giving his or her briefing, it is not the time for you to revise yours.
You should listen carefully and make notes, as after the briefing you are supposed to ask questions about it or offer a comment.
There are questions you might ask in different situations. Think of such factors as: cost/price/time/responsible person/consequences/examples/alternative solutions, etc.
The DIRECT QUESTIONS you might want to ask are:
1. What is the price/cost of... ?
2. How long will it take to ...?
3. How many people will you need to ...?
4. Who will be responsible for ...?
5. What will be the consequences of ... ?
6. What kind of ... will you need to ...?
If you want to sound more officially, you can ask
Indirect questions are more formal and polite than asking directly.
You ask an indirect question by introducing it with such sentences as:
Could you tell me…
I would like to know…
Do you know…
Do you happen to know…
I need to know…
REACTING TO QUESTIONS
The answer to the question or comment should be brief and concise as there are only 2 minutes for questions and answers after the briefing (Task 1, Part B). It is not enough though to answer yes or no. Each answer should be justified with proper arguments.
However, if you do not understand the question or it is unclear, you should clarify this information. You can use the following expressions to do it.
I’m sorry, I’m not sure what you mean.
I’m afraid I didn’t quite catch that.
I’m sorry, could you repeat your question, please?
So, if I understood you correctly, you would like to know whether…
Does that answer your question?
If you don't know what to answer, you can buy time using the following expressions.
That’s a(n) good/interesting/difficult question/point/comment.
If you don’t mind, I will come back to that later.
I’m afraid that’s not really what we’re discussing today.
I’m afraid I’m not in a position to answer that question at the moment.
If you don’t mind, I’ll deal with this point later.
If you don't know the answer to the question, you make use the following phrases, but try to avoid doing it.
SAYING YOU DON’T KNOW
I’m sorry, I don’t have that information at the moment.
I’m sorry, I can’t give you an answer at this moment.
I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to your question, but I’ll try to find out
I’m afraid this is not my area of expertise, but if you care to wait, I will find
out and send you the answer by e-mail.