English for Business: Useful Phrases to Use During a Business Meeting

Useful Phrases for Participating in a Business Meeting...


A. Overview of the structure of a typical business meeting

Meetings generally follow a more or less similar structure and can be divided into the following parts:

  • Introductions

Opening the Meeting

Welcoming and Introducing Participants

Stating the Principal Objectives of a Meeting

Giving Apologies for Someone Who is absent

  • Reviewing Past Business

Reading the Minutes (notes) of the Last Meeting

Dealing with Recent Developments

  • Beginning the Meeting

Introducing the Agenda

Allocating Roles (secretary, participants)

Agreeing on the Ground Rules for the Meeting (contributions, timing, decision-making, etc.)

  • Discussing Items

Introducing the First Item on the Agenda

Closing an Item

Next Item

Giving Control to the Next Participant

  • Finishing the Meeting

Summarizing

Finishing Up

Suggesting and Agreeing on Time, Date and Place for the Next Meeting

Thanking Participants for Attending

Closing the Meeting

B. Participating in a Meeting

C. Running a Meeting

The following phrases are used to conduct a meeting. These phrases are useful if you are called on to conduct a meeting.

  • Dealing with Recent Developments

Jack, can you tell us how the XYZ project is progressing?

Jack, how is the XYZ project coming along?

John, have you completed the report on the new accounting package?

Has everyone received a copy of the Tate Foundation report on current marketing trends?

  • Moving Forward

So, if there is nothing else we need to discuss, let's move on to today's agenda.

Shall we get down to business?

Is there Any Other Business?

If there are no further developments, I'd like to move on to today's topic.

  • Introducing the Agenda

Have you all received a copy of the agenda?

There are X items on the agenda. First ... second ... third ... lastly ...

Shall we take the points in this order?

If you don't mind, I'd like to go in order today.

skip item 1 and move on to item 3

I suggest we take item 2 last.

  • Allocating Roles (secretary, participants)

(name of participant) has agreed to take the minutes.

(name of participant), would you mind taking the minutes?

(name of participant) has kindly agreed to give us a report on ...

(name of participant) will lead point 1, (name of participant) point 2, and (name of participant) point 3.

(name of participant), would you mind taking notes today?

  • Agreeing on the Ground Rules for the Meeting (contributions, timing, decision-making, etc.)

We will first hear a short report on each point first; followed by a discussion of ...

I suggest we go round the table first.

Let's make sure we finish by ...

I'd suggest we ...

There will be five minutes for each item.

We'll have to keep each item to 15 minutes. Otherwise we'll never get through.

  • Introducing the First Item on the Agenda

So, let's start with ...

I'd suggest we start with...

Why don't we start with...

So, the first item on the agenda is

Pete, would you like to kick off?

Shall we start with ...

(name of participant); would you like to introduce this item?

  • Closing an Item

I think that takes care of the first item.

Shall we leave that item?

Why don't we move on to...?

If nobody has anything else to add, lets...

  • Next Item

Let's move onto the next item

Now that we've discussed X, let's now ...

The next item on today's agenda is...

Now we come to the question of.

  • Giving Control to the Next Participant

I'd like to hand over to (name of participant), who is going to lead the next point.

Next, (name of participant) is going to take us through ...

Now, I'd like to introduce (name of participant) who is going to...

  • Summarizing

Before we close today's meeting, let me just summarize the main points.

Let me quickly go over today's main points.

To sum up...

OK, why don't we quickly summarize what we've done today?

In brief ...

Shall I go over the main points?

  • Finishing Up

Right, it looks as though we've covered the main items.

If there are no other comments, I'd like to wrap this meeting up.

Let's bring this to a close for today.

Is there Any Other Business?

  • Suggesting and Agreeing on Time, Date and Place for the Next Meeting

Can we set the date for the next meeting, please?

So, the next meeting will be on ... (day), the . . . (date) of.... (month) at ...

Let's next meet on ... (day), the . . . (date) of.... (month) at ... What about the following

Wednesday? How is that?

  • Thanking Participants for Attending

I'd like to thank Marianne and Jeremy for coming over from London.

Thank you all for attending.

Thanks for your participation.

  • Closing the Meeting

The meeting is finished, we'll see each other next ...

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English for Business: Useful Phrases to Use During a Business Meeting

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