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:
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
Giving Control to the Next Participant
- Finishing the Meeting
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...
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 ...