Meetings

Chairing a Business Meeting

Opening a Meeting
• Thank you all for coming.
• Thanks for coming, everyone.
• I’d like to welcome everyone…

Setting the Meeting Time
• The discussion will last around one hour.
• We plan to complete the discussion in two hours.
• We’ll wrap things up by…

Outlining Objectives
• The focus of today’s discussion will be…
• Today’s meeting is about…
• The purpose of this discussion is to…
• The primary objectives of this meeting are…
• I’m sure you’re all aware that we are here today to discuss…
• What we hope to achieve today is to…

Introducing the Agenda
• There are three key items on the agenda today.
• The first item on the agenda is to…
• Another primary objective is to clarify…
• Today we will be discussing our plans for…
• The most pressing concern is to…

Introducing Speakers and Defining their Roles
• To begin with, Thomas will read out the minutes of the previous meeting.
• Lloyd is going to give us some background on…
• I am pleased to invite Renee to present….
• I’d like to request Tim to tell us about…
• I know that Karen is ready with the results of….
• I’d like to hear from Byron on…
• Antonia will take the minutes of the meeting.
• Perhaps Janet could tell us more about…

Dialogue

A.
Welcome everyone, please be seated.
My name Thomas Peace
Please call me Thom.
These are my colleagues Lloyd Peace and Tim Coomber.
We are with DC English.
We are here today to tell you about our business communication and accelerator program.
I will be lead facilitator of the meeting.
I will be paying close attention to the communication flows among participants.
Gentlemen, why don’t introduce yourselves briefly.

B.
Thank you.
As Thom said, my name is Lloyd Peace.
Please call me Lloyd.
I will be assisting as facilitator.
I will also provide my perspectives based on my experience in the the US corporate world.
I look forward to working with you all.

C.
Hello everyone.
I’m Tim and I will also play the role of facilitator of these meetings.
I have many years of experience in business and accounting.
As such, I’m going to offer my opinions with a keen eye on the financial details.

A.
Thank you Lloyd, and thank you Tim.
Let’s get started.

Interrupting Effectively

Interrupting Clearly
• Pardon me but…can I say something?
• Forgive the interruption, but… I have something
• I’m sorry to interrupt, but…
• Sorry for interrupting, but…
• Could I add something to that?

Making Time to Think
• What exactly is the problem here?
• Now, how I can put this?
• Let me see if I’ve got this straight.
• What is it that we’re talking about here?
• Let me just check that I understand this.

Showing What the Issue is
• The problem we have to address is…
• I think this is a question of…
• Aren’t we forgetting an important issue here?
• What we need to deal with here is…..

Explaining Your Opinion
• I believe we should…
• Doesn’t it seem that…
• Why don’t we…
• Don’t you think we should…
• Wouldn’t it be better to….
• Wouldn’t it be more practical to….
• Shouldn’t we be….

Testing Agreement
• Don’t you agree?
• Doesn’t that make sense to you?
• Could we agree on this?
• Do you see what I’m getting at?
• Do you understand where I’m coming from?
• Wouldn’t you agree with that?
• Would you agree to that?

Preventing Interruptions
• That’s a relevant suggestion. Let’s come back to it in our next meeting.
• Thank you for that observation. It’s a pity we don’t have time to discuss the issue now.
• Thank you for that suggestion; we’ll consider it. Marcus, why don’t you go ahead with what you were saying?
• Could we get back to that later?
• Let’s hear the rest of what Matthew has to say, and then we can get to that.
• I think we may be getting sidetracked here.
• It may be too much of a digression to discuss that at this point.
• That’s a good point, but it may not really be relevant at this time.
• Perhaps we can leave that for another discussion.
• Let’s not move too far away from the point here.
• That’s interesting. Let’s try to get back to it later.

Summarizing the Discussion
• To sum up briefly…
• Just to summarize what we’ve decided on today…
• I’d like to briefly summarize the main points that were made today.
• To conclude, we have determined that…
• We have all agreed that…
• There was some disagreement about…
• I’d like to go over the main points that were discussed today.
• I’d like to quickly sum up the decisions that were taken today.

Closing the Meeting
• That’s all for today.
• I think we can close there.
• Let’s wind up for today.
• Paul, I’d like you to go over those reports by tomorrow.
• Peter will go over the reports by tomorrow and present his findings.
• We need to arrange another meeting with the client.
• We need to meet again tomorrow to resume the discussion.
• Thank you all for coming.
• Thank you all for your time.
• I look forward to resuming our discussion tomorrow.

Talking About Options

Asking about Options
• What are our options?
• I’d like to discuss our options with you.
• What options do we have for…?
• Do we have any options?

Asking for Suggestions
• Does anyone have any suggestions?
• Any suggestions?
• I’d like to hear your suggestions.
• I’m willing to hear any suggestions.
• Who has any suggestions?
• Would you like to make any suggestions?

Stating Options
• We have a number of/several/three options.
• We don’t have many options.
• Our options are limited/unlimited.
• Our options are wide open.
• We have few options.
• Here are our options.
• In my opinion/The way I see it, we only have two options.

Stating Alternatives
• The clear/obvious option is to …..
• (In my opinion/I believe) the next best option is to…
• Alternatively, we could …..
• Another alternative is to……
• Another option is to …..
• We could either ….. or ……

Comparing Options
• Let’s look at xxxx versus yyyy.
• I’d like to look at xxxx versus yyyy.
• When we look at xxxx versus yyyy, we need to consider….
• Comparing xxxx versus yyyy, we need to consider the following factors.
• Let’s look at the pros and cons of both options.
• Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of the three options.
• Let’s compare the options.
• Xxxx is more expensive than yyyy.
• Yyyy is not as expensive as xxxx.
• Although xxxx is more expensive, yyyy is ….
• Despite xxx being more expensive, yyyy is ….
• Xxxx might be more expensive, but yyyy is….
• Xxxx is more expensive; however, yyyy is…
• Xxxx is more expensive; on the other hand, yyyy is…
• Option xxxx is the cheapest.
• The downside/upside of this option is that…
• The main advantage/disadvantage of xxxx is that…

Asking about Probability
• How likely is ….?
• What is the probability/chance of …..?
• What is the likelihood of (something) happening?
• What is the likelihood that …?
• Is it likely that ….?
• What chance is there that …..?
• Is there a good chance that…?

Expressing Probability (from certain to uncertain)
• I’m certain/sure that …
• It’s almost certain that…
• I am quite sure that …..
• It is highly likely that…
• There’s a high degree of probability that…
• It is likely that …..
• The company is likely to …..
• I should think that the company will …..
• It is possible that the company will …..
• I doubt that the company will ……
• The company is unlikely to …..
• It’s unlikely that the company will…
• It’s highly unlikely that the company will…
• The company will almost definitely not….
• The company won’t….

Developing an Argument

Beginning
• I would like to begin by…
• I would like to make a few remarks concerning…
• I would like to comment on the problem of …
• I would like to mention briefly that…
• I would like to touch upon …..
• There are three/several/a number of points I’d like to make.
• The most important points seem to me to be…

Ordering
• First of all, we must bear in mind…
• At the outset…
• To begin with…
• Firstly,…Secondly,…Thirdly,….Finally,…

Introducing a New Point
• I would now like to turn briefly to the problem of…
• The next issue I would like to focus on is…
• Turning to…

Adding
• In addition,…
• I should/might add that…
• As well as…, there is also…
• Not only…, but also…
• Furthermore, …
• Moreover,…

Giving an Example
• Let me give an example…
• To illustrate this point, lets consider…
• A case in point is…
• For instance, …..

Balancing Views
• On the one hand…, but on the other hand…
• Although …, we mustn’t forget…
• Whereas…, we have to remember…
• In spite of …, I still think…
• Despite the fact that…, I …

Generalizing
• On the whole,…
• In general,…
• Generally speaking,…
• By and large,…
• All in all,…
• All things considered,…

Stating Preferences
• I would rather…/ I’d rather…than…
• I (would) prefer … to …
• I tend to favor … as opposed to …
• … has an advantage over … in that …
• The main advantage of … is that …

Concluding
• Let me conclude by saying…
• I’d like to conclude by stating that …
• Allow me to conclude by First, highlighting the fact that …, and Second,…
• In conclusion, I would like to Third, reiterate that …
• I would now like to conclude my comments by reassuring you that we are fully aware of the fact that …

Discussing Business Proposals

Talking about Advantages and Disadvantages
• The drawback here seems to be…
• This may be a significant advantage…
• Let’s look into the pros and cons first…
• There seem to be too many disadvantages here…
• What are the shortcomings of this aspect of…?
• I anticipate some difficulties here…
• A minor/major drawback of this approach could be…

Expressing the Future Using ‘Would’
• How would you pay for this?
• We would fund this by…
• The department wouldn’t be able to….
• You would see the benefits when….
• How would we benefit from…?
• You say you would provide 24-hour technical support.
• That would depend on…
• This would help us to…
• What advantage would this give us?
• Who would be responsible for…?
• How would you manage to…?

Speculating Using Modal Verbs
• The company might not approve of…
• Our prices could be discounted slightly.
• Our cost calculations might be negotiable.
• I think Accounts may need to go through these figures.
• I feel that we may have to offer greater discounts for bulk purchases.
• I believe that the scheme could be revised to fit….

Making Suggestions
• Why don’t you….?
• How about…?
• What about…?
• Let’s…
• I suggest that you….
• One idea might be to…

Asking for and Giving Opinions
• Do you think we should…?
• Don’t you think we should…?
• How do you feel about …?
• What do you think of…?
• Wouldn’t you agree that…?
• Wouldn’t it be better if we…?
• Perhaps it would be a good idea if we…
• I think we should….
• We ought to …..

Approximating
• The majority of ….
• Almost all of the…
• About a third of…
• Half of the…
• Just under a million…
• Just over a hundred…
• Fewer than twenty thousand…
• Around 30%…

Making Plans

Expressing Necessity
• We need to…
• Don’t we need to…?
• We have to….
• We must….
• Don’t we have to….?

Making Suggestions
• Let’s try to…
• Maybe we can…
• I think we could…
• It might be a good idea to…
• We could….
• Why don’t we…?
• Do you think we could…?
• Don’t you think it would be a good idea to…?

Making Recommendations
• We ought to….
• We should …
• Shouldn’t we…?
• Don’t you think we should…?
• Oughtn’t we to…?

Structuring the Conversation
• Firstly…
• Secondly…
• Finally…
• The last thing we need to look at is…
• Next…
• Additionally…
• Moving on to…

Assigning Tasks
• Will you be able to…?
• Could you…?
• Would you like to…?
• I’d like you to…
• Could you please…?
• Why don’t you ….?

Reporting Back on Progress

Introducing the Report
• Well, I went to the site as requested.
• Here are the results of the analysis of…
• As asked, I have…
• I visited the client as requested.
• I’ve just spoken to…
• I got in touch with…

Summarizing the Report
• I found that…
• We discovered that…
• I believe that…
• According to my investigation…
• According to our calculations…
• We estimate that…

Confirming Facts/Opinions
• Yes, that’s right.
• I believe that’s correct.
• Yes, that’s how it happened.

Clarifying/Correcting Information
• No, that’s not exactly right.
• Actually, that’s not what happened. My point is that ..
• Well, that’s not precisely what I found.
• Not at all, in fact, it was quite the opposite.
• What I meant to say was…
• That’s not quite what I meant to say…

Giving Opinions
• I think we should…
• In my opinion, we should….
• It might be a good idea to…
• It would probably be wise to…
• We might consider…
• It might be worth….
• I would….

Making Suggestions
• We could give…..
• I suggest that we give
• I’d suggest that we give…
• I would suggest that we give….
• I suggest giving….
• I’d suggest giving…
• I would suggest giving….

Making Recommendations
• We should give…..
• I recommend that we give
• I’d recommend that we give…
• I would recommend that we give….
• I recommend giving….
• I’d recommend giving…
• I would recommend giving….

Using Sequence Markers
• First, we…
• Next …
• Then…
• After that…
• Finally…

Saying You’d Like to Give your Opinion
• May I speak off the record?
• If I may speak off the record…
• May I speak freely?
• Do you mind if I make an observation here?

Concluding the Session
• Thanks, I’ll get on to it right away.
• I’ll get that done immediately.
• Should I do anything to follow up on this?
• Is there anything else you’d like to know?
• Is there anything else you’d like me to do?
• How would you like me to proceed?

Querying Information

Querying Information
• 14 million? Isn’t it 40 million?
• Don’t you mean 2012?
• Shouldn’t it be 15,000 units?
• Sorry, I meant 40 million.
• No, I mean 2020.

Clarifying Information
• Let me spell out…
• Have I made that clear?
• Do you see what I’m getting at?
• Let me put this another way…
• I’d just like to repeat that…
• Could you explain that, please? What was your pont again?
• Could you clarify that, please?.
• Could you go through that again?

Requesting Information
• Please could you…?
• I’d like you to…
• Would you mind…?
• I wonder if you could…

Asking for Repetition
• I’m afraid I didn’t understand that.
• Could you repeat what you just said?
• I didn’t catch that.
• Could you repeat that, please?
• I missed that. Could you say it again, please?
• Could you run that by me one more time?

Asking for Clarification
• I don’t quite follow you. What exactly do you mean?
• I’m afraid I don’t quite understand what you are getting at.
• Could you explain to me how that is going to work?
I may be missing something here. Could you…?
• I don’t see what you mean. Could we have some more details, please?

Asking for Verification
• You did say next week, didn’t you? (‘did’ is stressed)
• Do you mean that…?
• Is it true that…?

Correcting Information
• Sorry, I think you misunderstood what I said.
• Sorry, that’s not quite right.
• I’m afraid you don’t understand what I’m saying.
• That’s not quite what I had in mind.
• That’s not what I meant.

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