Common English Phrases Used For A Business Meeting

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English is the official business language. Since English is often used when conducting business meetings, and meetings will always be a part of working, and having a business, improving your communication skills will keep you competitive in the workplace. Knowing how to communicate effectively will enable you to express your ideas and participate actively and effectively in the meeting. This post provides useful phrases that you can use in a business meeting from start to finish. You can use them even if you are leading a meeting, delivering a presentation, or even just attending one. Read on to see the compilation of the useful phrases you can use during a business meeting. 

Small talk before the meeting

While still waiting for other participants to arrive and settle into their seats, engaging in small talk before the meeting can happen. Having short conversations with your fellow participants is good because, through it, you can avoid awkward silences. Also, it helps to break the ice and get yourself and other attendees comfortable and warmed up before for the meeting.

Useful Expressions:

“You must be (name), It’s so nice to finally meet you.”

“It’s been a while since the last time we met.”

“Did you have any trouble getting here?”

“How was your flight?”

“Is this your first time here?”

“It’s been a rainy/windy morning/afternoon, isn’t it?”

Welcoming and introducing participants

Once the attendees have arrived, you can start the meeting by formally welcoming everyone and thanking them for coming. If you have new participants in the meeting, make sure to introduce them before you start the meeting. Welcoming and introducing participants enables you to start positively and establish your connection with the audience. You can welcome the attendees by using a simple greeting like the expressions given below.

Useful expressions:

“First, I’d like to welcome everyone.”

“We’re pleased to welcome everyone.”

“I’d like to extend a warm welcome to all of you.”

“Thank you for coming today. It’s a pleasure to welcome all of you.”

“Before I get started, please join me in welcoming (name).”

Stating the meeting’s main objectives and topics to be covered

At the start of the meeting, clearly state the objective of the meeting and the topics to be covered. This will help the attendees to know what to expect and what to focus on. Do this by outlining the meeting’s agenda. The following phrases below will help you to introduce your objectives. 

Useful phrases:

“This meeting will cover issues about…”

“In today’s meeting, we’ll be talking about…”

“I’ve called this meeting to…”

“Our main goal today is to…” 

“The purpose of today’s meeting is to discuss…”

“We’re here today to discuss…”

“The main reason for this meeting is…”

Setting the ground rules for the meeting

Establishing some basic rules for the meeting is helpful to keep the discussion organized. This will enable participants to know what is expected of them, may it about timing, providing inputs, and even guidelines when making a decision. 

Useful expressions:

“Let’s make sure we finish by…”

“We’ll have to keep each item to (number of minutes) minutes.”

“After the discussion, we’ll take a vote.”

“We will go round the table later to get everyone’s feedback.”

“We may need to vote on the first option if we can’t get a unanimous decision.”

“We will watch a short presentation that’s related to our subject, and this will be followed by a discussion.”

Controlling the meeting

When the discussion in a meeting loses its focus, the meeting can run longer than necessary or doesn’t accomplish its aim. Since the meeting should be able to cover all the points in a given time frame and should begin and end at the scheduled time, it is essential to avoid the meeting to go off-topic. To stay on track, smoothly move the discussion to the next item and have an organized flow, use the following phrases below

Useful phrases:

“We’re running short on time, so let’s move on to..”

“If nobody has anything else to add, let’s move on to the next item.”

“Our discussion has gone slightly off-topic, let us get back to the main subject.”

“Are we ready to make a decision?”

“We’re beginning to lose sight of the main point.”

“Let’s try to stay on topic, that can be discussed another time.”

“You can discuss that amongst yourselves after the meeting.”

“We’ve spent too long on this issue now, let’s discuss it in more detail after this meeting.”

Asking for Contributions

Meetings are not just about the speaker delivering the presentation. It is also about having a dialogue with the participants and asking for their opinions. Their input will provide more ideas and feedback that can help to improve understanding of the subject. By asking questions, you get a different perspective on your subject. You get to see the weaknesses and strengths of your subject as well as opportunity, threat, and point of confusion. When asking for opinion, use the following phrases below to encourage participants to share their insights., 

Useful expressions:

“I’d like to get your feedback on…”

“What are your thoughts about… ?”

“How do you feel about…?”

“Do you agree?”

“Do you share my point of view?”

“How do you feel about …?”

“What are your views on …?”

“Are there any other comments?”

“Would you like to add anything?”

“Are there any areas of this project we are not thinking about?”

Giving your opinion

Every participant is expected to give their opinion at any point in the meeting. Although you may find yourself hesitating to share your insights, it is essential to raise your points, especially if it’s relevant and helpful in finding solutions or options on the topic being discussed. It also shows that you are interested in the subject and actively participating in the meeting. Appropriately introduce your opinions by using the phrases below.  

Useful phrases:

“I strongly believe that…”

“I’m convinced that…”

“It seems to me that…”

“My initial reaction is…”

“I’m no expert on this, but…”

“This is only my opinion, but…”

“From my point of view…”

“In my experience, I find that…”

Asking for Clarification

Asking for clarification is needed when you do not understand a detail being discussed in the meeting. It helps you to stay on track of the discussion. While you may be tempted to let what confuses you remain unasked, remind yourself that the particular detail might be something that will affect your role or in doing your tasks. Politely ask for clarification by using “I’m sorry” or “excuse me” to make the tone softer and friendlier. 

Useful Expressions:

“Excuse me, could you please elaborate on what you said about the …”

“Could you explain further how that is going to work?”

“I’m not sure I understand what you mean by… ?”

“I don’t quite follow you. Could we have some more details, please?”

“I’m sorry, I don’t quite follow the…  Could you explain it from a different angle?”

“Sorry, what do you mean by…?”

“Correct me if I’m wrong, please, you’re saying …”

Agreeing and Disagreeing

Part of discussing in a meeting is expressing whether you are in agreement or disagreement about the points or claims being discussed. There are different ways to appropriately state your stand. It is important to remember that agreeing can be more easily done that disagreeing, as the latter requires extra care and sensitivity when delivering it. Disagreeing must be done diplomatically to avoid offending others or cause misinterpretation. Use the following phrases below to gracefully express your stand. 

Useful expression when Agreeing:

“I completely agree.”

“You’re absolutely right.”

“I strongly agree with you.”

“I totally agree.”

“That’s exactly right.”

“I feel just the same way.”

“Good point!”

Useful expression when Disagreeing:

“I’m afraid I disagree.”

“I’m not so sure about that.”

“I see it differently.”

“I’m of a different opinion.”

“I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with you.”

“I’m not sure that I agree.”

Interrupting politely

At certain points of the meeting, you may need to interrupt the discussion to add or raise an issue that has been missed. Also, you may want to ask for a more in-depth explanation of a detail that has been mentioned. Whatever is your reason for interrupting, remember to interrupt politely. Use words and expressions that can soften your tone and sound friendlier. Politely interrupt by using the following phrases below.

Useful phrases:

“Before we move on, I think we need to look at…”

“One minute, please, it seems we haven’t discussed…”

“May I have a word?”

“Could I just say one thing?”

“Excuse me, sorry for interrupting, but…”

“Can I add something?”

“I’m glad you brought that up. I’d like to add…”

“Sorry I didn’t quite hear that, can you repeat it?”

“I’ve never thought about it that way before. Can you please..?”

Summing up

At the end of a discussion, summarize the main points of the meeting and the decisions made. This can help the attendees to realize the gist of the discussion. This helps make sure that the participants clearly understand the next steps to be taken before leaving the meeting. It will serve as a reminder of the tasks assigned to them and the actions expected of them.  

Useful expression:

“To summarize, then, let me quickly go over today’s main points.”

“Before we close today’s meeting, let me just run through what we’ve agreed here.”

“Let me just summarize the main points.”

“Shall I go over the main points before we adjourn?”

“In summary, we have decided to…”

Closing the Meeting

At the end of the meeting, it is polite to thank the participants for coming and notify them that the meeting is already finished. Use a friendly language and a simple statement to close the meeting.  Commonly used phrases to close a meeting are provided below. 

Useful Expression:

“The meeting is adjourned.”

“The meeting is finished.”

“If there are no further points, let’s wrap this up.”

“I’d like to bring the meeting to a close.”

“We have covered everything on the agenda, so let’s end it here.”

“That will be all for today. Thank you for taking part.”

“Let’s call it a day. Thank you for your active participation and contribution.”

Conclusion

Communicating effectively will enable you to make a great impression. Learning the right phrases will help you to feel more confident whenever you enter a meeting room. May it be starting a meeting, keeping the meeting on track, asking questions, and ending a meeting, these phrases can help you actively participate in the meeting. While the phrases given here are not exhaustive, you can use them as a starting point. As you progressively learn, you can try tweaking them or adding more phrases to this list. You may also find yourself using the given phrases in other situations outside of work.

Want to learn more about other useful expressions you can use during conversations? Let LingualBox help you. We have courses suited for different kinds of learners, and friendly English teachers to guide you.

 

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Kaycie Gayle is a freelance content writer and a digital publisher. Her writings are mostly about, travel, culture, people, food, and communication.