Useful English Phrases for Running a Business Meeting
This reference sheet provides short phrases to help you run a business meeting from start to finish. Generally speaking, you should use formal English to run a business meeting. As you participate, it’s a good idea to paraphrase others’ ideas to make sure you understand.
Opening the Meeting
Welcome participants with quick phrases and get down to business.
Good morning/afternoon, everyone.
If we are all here, let’s
. . . get started (OR)
start the meeting. (OR)
. . . start.
Good morning everyone. If we’re all here, let’s get started.
Welcoming and Introducing Participants
If you have a meeting with new participants, make sure to introduce them before as you start the meeting.
Please join me in welcoming (name of participant)
We’re pleased to welcome (name of participant)
It’s a pleasure to welcome (name of participant)
I’d like to introduce (name of participant)
I don’t think you’ve met (name of participant)
Before I get started, I’d like to please join me in welcoming Anna Dinger from our office in New York.
Stating the Principal Objectives of a Meeting
It’s important to begin the meeting by clearly stating the main objectives for the meeting.
We’re here today to
Our aim is to .
I’ve called this meeting in order to .
By the end of this meeting, I’d like to have .
We’re here today to discuss the upcoming merger, as well as go over last quarter’s sales figures.
Giving Apologies for Someone Who is Absent
If someone important is missing, it’s a good idea to let others know that they will be missing from the meeting.
I’m afraid. (name of participant) can’t be with us today. She is in.
I have received apologies for the absence of (name of participant), who is in (place).
I’m afraid Peter can’t be with us today. He’s in London meeting with clients but will be back next week.
Reading the Minutes (Notes) of the Last Meeting
If you have a meeting that repeats regularly, make sure to read the minutes from the last meeting to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
First, let’s go over the report from the last meeting which was held on (date)
Here are the minutes from our last meeting, which was on (date)
First, let’s go over the minutes from our last meeting which was held last Tuesday. Jeff, could you please read the notes?
Dealing with Recent Developments
Checking in with others will help you keep everyone up to date on progress on various projects.
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?
Alan, please tell us how the final arrangements for the merger are coming along.
Use these phrases to transition to the main focus of your meeting.
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.
Once again, I’d like to thank you all for coming. Now, shall we get down to business?
Introducing the Agenda
Before you launch into the main points of the meeting, double check that everyone has a copy of the agenda for the meeting.
Have you all received a copy of the agenda?
There are three items on the agenda. First,
Shall we take the points in this order?
If you don’t mind, I’d like to . go in order (OR)
skip item 1 and move on to item 3
I suggest we take item 2 last.
Have you all received a copy of the agenda? Good. Shall we take the points in order?
Allocating Roles (secretary, participants)
As you move through the meeting, it’s important that people keep track of what’s going on. Make sure to allocate note taking.
(name of participant) has agreed to take the minutes.
(name of participant) has kindly agreed to give us a report on this matter.
(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?
Alice, would you mind taking notes today?
Agreeing on the Ground Rules for the Meeting (contributions, timing, decision-making, etc.)
If there is no regular routine to your meeting, point out the basic rules for discussion throughout the meeting.
We will hear a short report on each point first, followed by a discussion around the table.
I suggest we go round the table first.
The meeting is due to finish at.
We’ll have to keep each item to ten minutes. Otherwise we’ll never get through.
We may need to vote on item 5, if we can’t get a unanimous decision.
I suggest we go round the table first to get everyone’s feedback. After that, we’ll take a vote.
Introducing the First Item on the Agenda
Use these phrases to begin with the first item on the agenda. Make sure to use sequencing language to connect your ideas throughout the meeting.
So, let’s start with
Shall we start with. .
So, the first item on the agenda is
Pete, would you like to kick off?
Martin, would you like to introduce this item?
Shall we start with the first item? Good. Peter will introduce our plans for the merger and then will discuss the implications.
Closing an Item
As you move from item to item, quickly state that you have finished with the previous discussion.
I think that covers the first item.
Shall we leave that item?
If nobody has anything else to add,
I think that covers the important points of the merger.
These phrases will help you transition to the next item on the agenda.
Let’s move onto the next item
The next item on the agenda is
Now we come to the question of.
Now, let’s move onto the next item. We’ve been having a bit of a personnel crunch lately.
Giving Control to the Next Participant
If someone takes over your role, give control to them with one of the following phrases.
I’d like to hand over to Mark, who is going to lead the next point.
Right, Dorothy, over to you.
I’d like to hand over to Jeff, who is going to discuss the personnel issues.
As you finish the meeting, quickly sum up the main points of the meeting.
Before we close, let me just summarize the main points.
To sum up, .
Shall I go over the main points?
To sum up, we’ve moved forward with the merger and expect to start work on the project in May. Also, the personnel department has decided to hire additional staff to help us with the increased demand.
Suggesting and Agreeing on Time, Date and Place for the Next Meeting
As you end the meeting, make sure to arrange for the next meeting if necessary.
Can we fix the next meeting, please?
So, the next meeting will be on. (day), the . . . (date) of.. . (month) at.
What about the following Wednesday? How is that?
So, see you all then.
Before we leave, I’d like to fix the next meeting. What about next Thursday?
Thanking Participants for Attending
It’s always a good idea to thank everyone for attending the meeting.
I’d like to thank Marianne and Jeremy for coming over from London.
Thank you all for attending.
Thanks for your participation.
Thank you all for your participation and I’ll see you next Thursday.
Closing the Meeting
Close the meeting with a simple statement.
The meeting is closed.
I declare the meeting closed.
Explore useful phrases and proper language use in these business English articles:
What Is a Budget for a Business?
A budget is a financial document used to estimate and plan future income and expenses. Following the simple principles, you can create a budget for your business. The budgeting process may be carried out by individuals or by companies to estimate whether the person or company can continue to operate with its projected income and expenses.
A budget may be prepared simply using paper and pencil, or on a computer using a spreadsheet program like Excel. There are also financial software applications like Quicken or QuickBooks that can help with creating and maintaining a budget.
Why a Business Needs a Budget
In the midst of starting and running your business, you may wonder why you need to stop and put together a budget. A properly prepared and updated business budget serves several purposes:
Plan Start-up Needs for Your Business Plan
The first and probably the most-used purpose of a budget is to help you gather information for a business plan, including all the items and expenses necessary for a start-up. You need to know what it will cost you to open your doors on the first day of your business. It includes inventory, furniture and fixtures, computers and software, and, of course, the costs of finding and securing a location for your business.
Get a Business Loan
After a business is up and running, there are still times when you will need your budget and other financial spreadsheets to get a business loan. You will probably need to borrow money from a lender or family and friends for a start-up. A budget shows your lender how much you need for start-up and what your cash flow situation will look like in the first three years of your business. A reasonable budget can increase your credibility with your lender.
Plan Your Spending
Your budget can give you information about how much you can spend each month and how much you can take out of your business as a salary or draw to live on. As you start out, you may not be able to take much, but you can see what the future looks like, and you can plan for your living expenses as you get started.
Know Your Required Profit
If you set up your budget on a «required profit» basis, you can see how much money you need to make to meet all your expenses, including personal expenses. A required profit budget starts with all the expenses you need to pay each month, leaving the required profit as the income number needed to make the budget balance.
How to Create a Budget
The process for preparing a monthly budget for your business requires collecting information and following some simple steps.
First, list all sources of monthly income or revenue. These will include sales and interest from investments. If your business doesn’t get paid immediately—using cash or credit-debit cards—deduct a percentage of your expected income for late-payments and non-payments by customers.
List all your required, fixed expenses, like rent or mortgage, utilities, phone. These are payments you must make every month, even if you have less income than expected. If your fixed expenses are too close to your expected income, you may have trouble making your payments. See if you can cut down on your fixed expenses or turn them into variable expenses.
Variable expenses are non-recurrent expenses that are tied to sales. For example, if you have fewer customers, you may need fewer phone or driving expenses. Include expenses to capture new customers in this list, like advertising expenses.
Create columns for actual and budgeted income and expenses, so you can see how the budget works out in real-time.
A Tip for Creating a Realistic Budget
When you are estimating income and expenses, estimate income low and expenses high. In other words, be pessimistic about both income and expenses. Then when something happens (and it always does), you can be prepared.
The budget process for an existing business is different from a business startup budget. An existing business will have a history of sales and expenses, and it isn’t difficult to look back and determine average costs and sales for months and years.
The startup budget, on the other hand, has no historical data, so assumptions must be made and prorated (projected) into the future. This article provides a step-by-step process for creating a business startup budget.
The budget creation process works the same way for both personal and business budgets. You will need to first review your income sources, then your expenditures.
Some Business Budgeting Tools
You may wish to use a simple business budgeting worksheet you can use to create your budget. Also, most business accounting software has a budgeting feature. Use the «budget vs. actual» feature to see how your actual spending and income compare with your budget.
What Is a Formal Budget?
Budget Types in Management Accounting
Businesses and corporations commonly prepare formal budgets, sometimes referred to as a budget process. A formal budget lists and predicts all expenditures, revenue, profit and returns. Formal budgets must have approval by a top management member or an entire committee. Formal budgeting emerged in the 1950s, according to the Inc website.
Modern Formal Budgeting
Budgeting is an important part of any business, regardless of its size. Business and corporate planning rely heavily on formal budgeting. Among other factors, it paves the way for tools to control and determine bonuses and profit-sharing figures. Management of a formal budget needs great care and skill to prevent a company’s finances from turning negative.
Budgeting in large corporations is a collective process. Operating units create plans intended to help achieve corporate goals. Unit managers calculate and project sales, overhead costs, operating expenses and capital expenditures for the coming fiscal year. An upper management panel then reviews unit projections, addressing and negotiating any changes. Negotiations are a common part of the formal budgeting process. Once approved, the formal budget plan becomes the road map for operations in the coming year. Monthly and quarterly budget reviews track performance against projections, allowing managers to gauge the need for any changes.
Company leaders develop budgets from the bottom up, and managers strive to meet business goals from the top down. They measure budget performance by meeting or exceeding projections for sales, returns and profits, and by finishing below projected costs. It takes a strong incentive to project the lowest possible positive results and the highest potential negative results in a formal budget. Managers who understand sales and profits and are good at overestimating costs, typically create the most successful budgets.
Benefits and Costs
One of the most significant benefits of formal budgeting is the time managers must take throughout the year to review all aspects of their operation against the budget. This helps managers keep employees focused and provides a plan against which to compare progress. Formal budgeting creates a comprehensive picture of the future and brings awareness of opportunities and barriers. Time is the chief cost of the budgeting process. In some cases, managers may find themselves completely consumed in the efforts to comply with the vast array of requirements established in the formal budget. Unnecessary bureaucratic impositions, and unreliability due to rapid changes within the company, are two common negative factors of formal budgeting.
Business English: the language of ‘business meetings’
‘What time does the meeting commence?’
People take Business English courses because English is the language of the International business community.
Business people love meetings. As a business person you will attend (go to) many meetings. Here is some useful Business English you should know.
Business Meeting Verbs
to adjourn a meeting (formal) = to end a meeting for a short time. To take a break.
‘Let’s adjourn this meeting. We’ll arrange to meet again next week.’
to attend a meeting = to go to a meeting
‘I’ll be attending a meeting today between 2 and 3pm.’
to brainstorm = working in a group to think of some new fresh ideas.
‘Take a few minutes to brainstorm some ideas on a new name for this product.’
to cancel meeting = to decide that a planned meeting will not happen. The date is not changed.
‘The boss has decided to cancel the meeting as he is no longer interested in the project.’
to commence = to begin/start a meeting.
‘The meeting commences at 9:30. Please don’t be late.’
to hold a meeting = to be in charge of the meeting. It’s your meeting, you are the chairperson.
‘I’m holding a meeting on the effects of the increase in shipping costs.’
to over-run = to take longer than expected or was scheduled for.
‘Sorry I’m late. My meeting over-ran by 15 minutes.’
to postpone a meeting= to hold a meeting at a later time or date than was originally planned.
‘ Let’s postpone the meeting until the report has been finished.’
to reschedule a meeting = to change the time of a meeting for a reason. It can be before or after the originally planned time.
‘Did you hear? There’s no meeting today. It’s been rescheduled to tomorrow at 12.’
to wrap up a meeting (phrasal verb/informal) = to end a meeting.
‘Let’s wrap up this meeting. We’re out of time.’
Business Meeting Nouns
agenda = the topics to be covered in the meeting.
‘Today’s agenda covers our new policy on over-time pay.’
minutes = Notes taken about what is said and covered in a meeting.
‘Mr. Khan. Can you take the minutes for today’s meeting and then email them on to anyone who is not here?’
objectives = the goals of the meeting.
‘The objective of this afternoons meeting is to agree on employees working hours.’
strategy = the business plan for success.
‘Our strategy is to focus on our Asian market.’
Simon is away on a business trip, so let’s ___ until he comes back.
Are you all here? Yes.Good. Let’s ___ . Thanks for joining today’s meeting.
My sales team have ___ a few ideas on how we can improve our sales figures.
I’ve asked my secretary to take the ___ for tomorrow’s meeting.
Our main ___ is to double last year’s exports
Last year’s ___ was a failure. We need to re-think our business plan.
The meeting ___ will cover our marketing budget and no other topics.
100+ Useful Phrases For Running A Business Meeting
Business English phrases for meetings.
Meetings play a very big part in the business world. During meetings, important decisions are made, people are promoted, demoted, hired or even fired!
The future of companies is predicted, business tactics are analysed, competitors are targeted and strategies are planned.
A lot of time is spent organising, attending, hosting and holding meetings, so understanding your position in the meeting and knowing how to provide input is essential.
In this post, I will aim to provide all the valuable information you need to be equipped with when you enter that meeting room.
Useful English Phrases For Running A Business Meeting
1. SAMPLE PHRASES FOR GETTING STARTED ›› WELCOMING ›› MAKING INTRODUCTIONS AND APOLOGIES
- Right, everyone has arrived now, so let’s get started.
- If we are all here, let’s start the meeting.
- Now that everyone is here, shall we begin?
- Shall we get down to business?
- Well, since everyone is here, we should get started.
- Okay, we have a lot to cover today, so we really should get started.
- Hello everyone. Thank you for coming today.
- Okay, let’s begin. Firstly, I’d like to welcome you all.
- Thank you all for coming at such short notice.
- I really appreciate your attendance to this meeting.
- For those of you who don’t know me yet, I am …
- Please join me in welcoming …
- I’d like to extend a warm welcome to …
- We are pleased to welcome …
- Firstly, I’d like to introduce …
- For anyone who hasn’t met our new … yet, this is …
- It’s a pleasure for me to welcome …
- I’d like to take a moment to introduce …
- I know most of you, but there are a few unfamiliar faces. I am …
- (Name) has kindly agreed to take the minutes today.
- (Name) will be presenting the …
- (Name) has kindly agreed to give us a report on …
- (Name), would you mind taking notes / taking the minutes today please?
- (Name) will lead (topic) from the agenda.
- (Name), would you like to kick off with …?
- Unfortunately, Margaret cannot join us today. She was called away on urgent business.
- Mark will be taking the minutes today, as Sarah is at home with a fever.
- I have received apologies for absence from …
- If you notice anyone missing, please let Mark know so he can make a note of it.
2. PHRASES TO USE FOR OUTLINING PRINCIPAL OBJECTIVES AND INTRODUCING THE AGENDA
- We are here today to talk about …
- We are here to discuss …
- Our main aim today is to …
- I’ve called this meeting today in order to …
- As you can see here on the agenda …
- Firstly, we’ll be talking about …
- First of all, we’ll discuss …
- After that, we’ll be looking at …
- Followed by …
- If time allows, we will also cover …
- Then, I’ll be handing it over to … for …
- Secondly, we’ll look at …
- Next, I’ll ask you for (feedback, comments, your opinion, your views, suggestions, ideas) on …
- And finally, we’ll discuss …
FOLLOWING THE AGENDA
All the attendees should somehow see or receive a copy of the agenda, whether this is handed out to individuals on paper, shown on an overhead projector screen or written on a board in the meeting room.
All the attendees should be able to follow the agenda as the meeting progresses, be fully aware of which topic is being discussed and what stage the meeting is at.
Before beginning the first item on the agenda, it is also customary to outline the principal objectives and provide a brief verbal outline of the agenda.
3. PHRASES TO USE FOR KEEPING THE MEETING IN AN EFFECTIVE FLOW
- That’s a valid point but we will discuss that in more detail at a later date.
- Okay, let’s talk more about that later on.
- I’m afraid we’ll have to come back to this later.
- We’re running short on time, so let’s move on to the next topic.
- We’re running behind now, so let’s skip to the next point on the agenda.
- I’m afraid we only have 10 minutes left, so let’s move on to….
- We’ve spent too long on this issue now, let’s discuss it in more detail after this meeting.
- I think we’ll have to leave that there for now and move on to….
- We’re pushed for time, so let’s discuss….
- Let’s try to stay on topic, that can be discussed another time.
- You can discuss that amongst yourselves after the meeting.
- This matter is not on today’s agenda, let’s leave it for next time.
- Let’s save this for another meeting.
- Getting back to the task at hand….
WATCHING THE TIME
(Staying on track or getting back on track)
As I mentioned before, this is usually the main issue with meetings and the thing that attendees would be most likely to complain about.
A successful meeting is one that starts and finishes at the allotted time, with all the points on the agenda fully covered.
It is the host’s (or chairperson’s) responsibility to ensure that the meeting does not go off topic, and that it stays within a suitable timeframe.
4. ASKING FOR OR OFFERING SUGGESTIONS OR FEEDBACK
- I couldn’t agree with you more (I agree)
- I completely agree with …
- Could I just say one thing please?
- If I could just come in here …
- I would just like to add …
- May I come in here please?
- Sorry, could you speak up a little please? I can’t hear you at the back.
- If I could have a chance to speak for a moment please.
- I’m glad you brought that up. I’d like to add …
- I’m afraid I’d have to disagree with you on that.
- I would just like to say that …
- Excuse me for interrupting …
- I really feel that …
- The way I see things …
- In my opinion …
- (Name), could you please tell us how … is progressing?
- (Name), how is the … coming along?
- Next, (name) will talk us through …
- (Name, have you managed to complete the …?
- (Name), when can we expect to hear about …?
- Has everyone received a copy of …?
- (Name), can we have your input on … please?
- How do you feel about …?
- Are you positive that …?
- What do you think about …
- What are your views on …?
- Now, I’d like to hand over to (name), who will talk about …
- This brings us to the next topic on the agenda, which will be introduced by (name).
- Why don’t we move on to …
- If no one has anything else to add, let’s move on to …
Attendees will generally be asked to provide input by giving their opinion, making comments or suggestions, providing feedback or asking questions.
It can sometimes be hard to have your say if many people would like to comment at the same time.
5. ASKING FOR CLARIFICATION
(When you don’t understand something)
- I don’t quite follow you. What exactly do you mean?
- I don’t see what you mean. Could you elaborate please?
- I’m afra >
If you do not understand what is being said by someone in particular, instead of just letting it pass by, you should ask for clarification to ensure that you are on the same page (that you understand), because they may be talking about something that will also affect you!
6. BRING THE MEETING TO A CLOSE
(Ending the meeting)
- Is there any other business?
- Does anyone have any other business?
- Any other business?
- Would anyone like to make any final points?
- If there are no further points, I’d like to bring the meeting to a close.
- Before we close the meeting, I’d like to briefly summarise the main points …
- Let me quickly go over today’s main points.
- To sum up …
- Right, why don’t we summarise what we’ve agreed on today.
- Shall I go over the main points before we adjourn?
- I guess that will be all for today, thank you for taking part.
- I think we should finish here.
- We seem to have been very efficient today, so let’s wrap up early.
- We have covered everything on the agenda, so let’s end it here.
- If there is nothing else to add, I’d like to adjourn the meeting.
- If there are no other comments, I’d like to wrap this meeting up.
- It looks like we’ve finished ahead of schedule, so let’s finish up here.
- I’m afraid we’re going to have to cut this meeting short. I’ve just been informed of an urgent matter that needs to be dealt with immediately.
- I’m afraid we’ll have to end this meeting here. Let’s rearrange and continue this discussion another time.
- Thank you all for your input today.
- Thank you for your participation.
- Let’s end this here, shall we? I’m sure you all have other important work to get back to.
- Before you leave, please remember to sign the attendance sheet
- I almost forgot to mention….
- I’d like to thank (name) for …
- Sorry, could I please have your attention for one more moment. I forgot to say…
- Before we go, let’s put our hands together for (clap or say congratulations)….
- Most of you probably know this already, but I’d like to formally congratulate….
- Please don’t forget to hand in your votes by the end of the week.
- I look forward to receiving emails from you all about your final vote.
- The minutes of the meeting will be sent to you all by (person’s name and/or time/date) …
- If anyone has any further questions, or would like to give any feedback privately, then please feel free to email me.
Once all the topics on the agenda have been covered, it is time to adjourn (end) the meeting. If the meeting is running over time, then it may be necessary to skip (not discuss) any less important topics, and end the meeting once all the main topics have been covered.
Sometimes, a meeting may even finish early, if everything is covered ahead of time! You should always end the meeting by summarising the main points or decisions made (if needed) and thanking everyone for coming.
This could also be the time to make any last minute remarks or reminders, or say a special thanks or congratulations to anyone.
7. CALLING A MEETING
(Organising and hosting a meeting)
If you feel there is something that needs to be discussed amongst the team, you may want to ‘call a meeting’, or you may be ‘called to a meeting’ by another colleague or superior.
Meetings can be announced verbally in small teams, posted on bulletin boards or (most commonly these days) attendees are invited by email. If a verbal announcement is made, it should always be followed up by written confirmation.
When contacting the prospective attendees, it is important to mention the time, date, place and topic/purpose of the meeting.
If you are expecting to cover many topics, you should also send out an agenda (list of topics that will be discussed) so the attendees know what to expect and can prepare any questions, comments or information they would like to add to each point.
Likewise, if you are called to a meeting and would like to prepare beforehand, don’t be afraid to ask the host (or chairperson) for a copy of the agenda!
If anyone is expected to ‘have the floor’ (host a part of the meeting) or provide specific information, then don’t forget to notify them in person (or by phone if they’re not nearby!) of their duty, so they have time to prepare.
SAMPLE EMAIL FOR CALLING A MEETING:
Good Afternoon Everyone,
There will be a meeting next week Thursday (26 th ) at 3pm in Room 5C. All staff in the marketing team are expected to attend, as we will be discussing our strategy for the next quarter.
We’re having this meeting earlier than usual due to the sudden surge of popularity surrounding our latest product. Please come prepared with ideas, queries, suggestions for further promotions and any questions, as we will not have time to discuss this during peak time.
Please expect the meeting to last approximately 3 hours.
8. WRITING AN AGENDA
(Preparing the itinerary/topics for discussion during the meeting)
One common issue that occurs with meetings is that they tend to run over the allocated time. If the attendees are told to keep 1 hour free for the meeting but are then occupied for 2.5 hours, then not only are they neglecting other important work, but it could also be very costly for the company.
One popular idiom to describe this would be ‘Time is money’ . If carefully organised and appropriately hosted, then a meeting CAN run smoothly.
Having clear aims, setting time limits per topic, sticking to the agenda, and knowing how to ‘get back on track’ are key components of an effective meeting.
The attendees will be more likely to provide input by asking questions and offering feedback if they know what to expect.
Marketing Strategy for Quarter 2 – Thursday 26 th February – Room 5C
15:00 – Welcome / Introduction / Refreshments
15:20 – Minutes from previous meeting
15:30 – Quarter 1 so far – Presentation by Dominic
16:00 – Positive effects of latest product
16:20 – Issues and limitations
16:40 – Feedback from last quarter
17:00 – New ideas for Q2*
17:45 – Media attention / expectations
18:00 – Questions / Reminders / AOB**
* Q2 is short for Quarter 2 i.e. the second quarter of the year (April to June).
** AOB is short for ‘Any Other Business’ (anything else that someone would like to discuss) and is very commonly used in meetings.
9. SAMPLE PERSONAL REQUEST
Nadine: Hi Dominic. How are you?
Dominic: Fine, thanks. Is there something I can help you with?
Nadine: Yes, I’m planning on having next quarter’s meeting early this year and I was wondering if you could prepare a PowerPoint presentation about Quarter 1 so far, just so everyone is up to date with what has been going on so far. Could you do that please?
Dominic: I’m afraid I’m quite busy this week…when is the meeting?
Nadine: I was planning on arranging it for next week Thursday at 3pm.
Dominic: Okay, that’s fine. That gives me time to prepare a slideshow over the weekend. No problem!
Nadine: Thank you Dom, I really appreciate it. I’ll allocate a 30 minute slot to you for the presentation, as there is a lot to cover. Does that suit you?
Dominic: Yes, I should be able to fit everything into that timeframe.
Nadine: Great, thanks again. Let me know if you get stuck on anything (if you have any problems).
(Assigning specific duties to other members of staff)
The person hosting the meeting may decide to allocate roles to other staff, such as taking minutes during the meeting (keeping a record of who attends and what is discussed), speaking about a certain subject, providing figures or data on a specific topic.
If you are allocated a role by the meeting host, then remember to ask questions about anything you don’t understand, rather than guessing…because it’ll be too late to prepare again once the meeting has begun!
If you are hosting the meeting and would like to allocate a role to someone, remember to give them plenty of notice so they can prepare what you have asked them to do.
Also, ask them if they are able to take on this role before you announce to everyone that they will be doing it, just in case they cannot.
10. TAKING THE MINUTES
(Recording the meeting)
This usually consists of keeping a list of the attendee’s names, and recording everything that is discussed, in case it needs to be discussed again or reviewed in the future.
Generally, someone who is not participating in the meeting would be called upon to be the minute-taker, but anyone may be assigned this responsibility, so it is good to be ready for it, in case your manager asks you to do it.
Before the meeting begins, the minute-taker should obtain a copy of the previous (related) meeting’s minutes, a copy of the agenda for the new meeting and have a list of who is supposed to be attending, to hand.
If you are not familiar with taking minutes, then it may be good to have an outline before going into the meeting to help guide you through everything that needs to be recorded. A standard outline should include:
- The topic of the meeting / main items on the agenda
- Meeting details (time, place, host, start time, end time)
- A list of attendees to be ticked off (or a blank list for attendees to sign)
SAMPLE MINUTES OUTLINE:
MARKETING STRATEGY FOR QUARTER 2
Thursday 26 th February – ROOM 5C
Start Time:________ End Time:________
Meeting hosted by: _________________
Attendee Name: Signature:
Main topics on the agenda:
- Quarter 1 Presentation by Dominic
- Pros and cons of latest product
- Q1 Feedback from team
The minute-taker can choose to record the meeting on paper (handwritten) or on a computer (typed up), whichever you feel more comfortable with.
You will more than likely be asked to type the minutes up later, so that it can be stored electronically and sent around to all the attendees after the meeting – this should be done immediately after the meeting so that you don’t forget any of the points that were mentioned (even your own scribbled notes can seem hard to understand after a while)!
Many people who are very familiar with minute-taking tend to use shorthand writing, which enables you to write a lot quicker and keep up with the discussion.
If you are called upon to take minutes on a regular basis, then it may be worth learning how to do shorthand writing!
Remember, you do not need to record every single word that is spoken! Only a brief outline of what is discussed, and all significant points that are made by any of the participants.
For example, if someone mentions an issue that needs to be dealt with, something positive that is working really well, and any feedback or suggestions.
Any key points surrounding the main topics of the meeting should definitely be recorded, as well as any votes or decisions.
It is, sometimes, also important to record who said what, for this reason, the minute-taker should know the names of the attendees.
If you don’t know their names, you should make a note of their seating position and ask their names at the end of the meeting.
If the meeting is with a very large number of people who are not known to one another then, generally, it is customary for them to introduce themselves (mention their name or company name) before they say anything else.
11. OPENING A MEETING
(Starting the meeting)
At the start, while the attendees are arriving, having refreshments or getting settled into their seats, it is polite to make small talk with others (polite conversation about unimportant or uncontroversial matters).
This usually fills any awkward silences while people are waiting to begin.
Once everyone has arrived, the person hosting the meeting should formally welcome everyone to the meeting, and thank them for coming.
If there is a new person in the meeting, or a guest attendee who does not know the others, this would be the best time to make introductions.
Followed by the roll call (checking to see if all the attendees are there) and any apologies that need to be made on behalf of an important figure or a regular attendee who couldn’t make it.
If the meeting is a small group then roll call is usually not necessary, as the person taking the minutes will be able to make a note of who was there.
In a larger meeting, or one with guests whose names are not known, an attendance sheet should be sent around.
So, now you should be able to successfully call a meeting, write an agenda, assign roles to others, take minutes, open a meeting, stay on track and close a meeting!
I hope the information provided in this blog helps you to feel more confident when you enter a meeting room, knowing that you are armed with all the main phrases that you may need to use.
If you think there is anything else that should be included in this blog about meetings, then please let me know!