Business English

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  • 1. Key Business Meetings Phrases
  • 2. Opening
    • Good morning/afternoon, everyone.
    • Who just joined on the phone? Who else is on the phone?
    • If we are all here/It’s 10:05, let's get started.
    • I think that’s everyone. Let’s get started.
  • 3. Welcoming and Introducing
    • Please join me in welcoming (name of participant)
    • We're pleased to welcome (name of participant)
    • I'd like to extend a warm welcome to (name of participant)
    • It's a pleasure to welcome (name of participant)
    • I'd like to introduce (name of participant)
  • 4. Stating the Principal Objectives
    • We're here today to ...
    • I'd like to make sure that we ..
    • Our main aim today is to ...
    • I've called this meeting in order to ...
  • 5. Giving Apologies for Someone Who is Absent
    • I'm afraid.., (name of participant) can't be with us today. She is in...
    • Unfortunately, (name of participant) ... will not be with us to day because he ...
    • I have received apologies for absence from (name of participant), who is in (place).
  • 6. Reading the Minutes (notes) of the Last Meeting
    • To begin with I'd like to quickly go through the minutes of our last meeting.
    • 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)
  • 7. Dealing with Recent Developments
    • Jack, could you please update us on Sales/Marketing?
    • 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?
  • 8. Moving Forward
    • In the interest of everyone’s time, let’s take that topic off line.
    • So, if there is nothing else we need to discuss, let's move on to today's agenda.
    • Let’s take that offline.
    • If there are no further developments, I'd like to move on to today's topic.
  • 9. 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.
  • 10. 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?
  • 11. 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
  • 12. 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?
  • 13. 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 ...
    • At this point, a lot of things are still fluid.
  • 14. Solving issues
    • I don’t have an answer to that. Let me do some research and get back to you.
    • Do you want us to escalate the issue and help you get the resource?
    • Let’s go back to the drawing board .
    • There are still some gray areas, which we need to firm up in the next week.
  • 15. Idioms
    • Our project has gained some traction .
    • The President's visit was supposed to be confidential but somebody must have let the cat out of the bag . He is a loose canon .
    • They said they will honor the contract but I smell a rat .
    • Working in the company was not very nice so, when they asked me to take a pay cut, it was the last straw and I left.
    • The way she always arrives one hour late is driving me up the wall .
    • We need to make a splash by holding a cocktail party for journalists.
    • This is a new concept. We should test the water before making such a large investment.
    • We've gained ground in the Japanese market. We now have a 20% market share, up from just 7% last year.
    • We need to capture more of the youth market.
    • Sorry, I've lost my train of thought after that interruption. What was I saying?
    • I was going to send it to you but I'm afraid it completely slipped my mind .
  • 16. Idioms
    • Fighting world hunger is a subject close to my heart .
    • We need to have a heart-to-heart discussion and clear the air between us.
    • I can't see the point in studying for this exam. I'll just fail anyway.
    • I thought I knew a lot about it but talking to Jenny was a real eye-opener . should have done things differently in hindsight .
    • I'm glad we've cleared up the misunderstanding about payment terms.
    • I’m extremely pleased with the progress. It is firing on all cylinders .
    • All things being equal , we would prefer …
    • You can't have it both ways . Which is more important to you?
    • We started out in one small office but we've come a long way since then.
    • You need to take anecdotal evidence with a grain of salt .
    • We have fallen behind schedule. It won't be completed on time.
    • I filled in for Jamie while he was on vacation.
  • 17. Idioms
    • I am just nitpicking … / I have one criticism
    • I will bring her up to speed when she comes back.
    • We need to bring in an outside consultant.
    • Let me come up with a straw man.
    • It all boils down to the price.
    • We have been playing numbers for a while, let’s put a stick in the ground .
    • The project is very complex and has many moving parts .
    • They have pulled out of the deal
    • Let’s table this for future discussion
    • In a nutshell , this project is about …
    • We need to pull all the levers that we have.
    • Can you give us a ball park estimate?
    • It is best bang for the buck .
    • It is going to be a long shot / hard sell .
    • The inventor wanted a large piece of the action of the profits from the new computer that he had invented.
  • 18. Idioms
    • The children’s toys were selling like hotcakes at the end of the year.
    • The stock market took a nosedive/plumetted when the earnings of the oil company began to weaken.
    • We were unable to get the new product off the ground and will have to wait until next year.
    • The new machine should fill the bill for what we need to finish the job.
    • The small computer company went belly up several months ago.
    • I was no longer in the loop for that project.
    • The new children's toy is jumping off the shelves .
    • We plan to make an offer to buy the house on Saturday.
    • The store is slashing/knocking down prices on the new computers.
    • The chairman called on me to speak at the meeting.
  • 19. Time Check
    • Let’s have a five minutes break before moving on to the next agenda.
    • Just a time check. How is everyone doing on time? How many people have hard stop at 3pm ?
  • 20. Next Item
    • Let's move onto the next item
    • If I can just go back to the previous point, there is something else that I forgot to mention.
    • Now that we've discussed X, let's now ...
    • The next item on today's agenda is...
  • 21. Giving Control to the Next Participant
    • I'd like to hand over to/(turn it 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 ...
    • The floor is yours. Take it away.
    • Please walk us through the presentation.
  • 22. Summarizing
    • Let’s wrap up.
    • Let me quickly go over today's main points. To sum up, ...,.
    • OK, why don't we quickly summarize what we've done today.
    • Shall I go over the main points? In brief, …
    • Let’s recap the meeting and discuss the action plan.
  • 23. 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.
    • Are there any final thoughts, comments or questions?
  • 24. 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?
  • 25. 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.
  • 26. Closing the Meeting
    • The meeting is finished, we'll see each other next ...
    • The meeting is closed.
    • I declare the meeting closed.
  • 27. Useful Phrases
  • 28. Useful Phrases
    • Getting the Chairperson's Attention
    • (Mister/Madam) chairman.
    • May I have a word?
    • If I may, I think...
    • Excuse me for interrupting..
  • 29.
    • Giving Opinions
    • I'm positive that...
    • I (really) feel that...
    • In my opinion...
    • The way I see things...
    • If you ask me,... I tend to think that
    Useful Phrases
  • 30.
    • Disagreeing
    • Unfortunately, I see it differently.
    • Up to a point I agree with you, but...
    • I respectfully disagree.
    Useful Phrases
  • 31.
    • Advising and Suggesting
    • Let's...
    • We should...
    • Why don't you....
    • How/What about...
    • I suggest/recommend that...
    Useful Phrases
  • 32.
    • Clarifying
    • 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 reiternate that...
    Useful Phrases
  • 33.
    • 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?
    Useful Phrases
  • 34.
    • Asking for Clarification
    • I don't quite follow you. What exactly do you mean?
    • I'm afraid I don't quite understand what your are getting at.
    • Could you explain to me how that is going to work?
    • I don't see what you mean. Could we have some more details, please?
    • Sorry, you lost me.
    Useful Phrases
  • 35.
    • Asking for Verification
    • You did say next week, didn't you? ('did' is stressed) Do you mean that...? Is it true that...?
    Useful Phrases
  • 36.
    • Asking for Spelling
    • Could you spell that, please?
    • Would you mind spelling that for me, please?
    Useful Phrases
  • 37.
    • Asking for Contributions
    • We haven't heard from you yet, (name of participant).
    • What do you think about this proposal?
    • Would you like to add anything, (name of participant)?
    • Has anyone else got anything to contribute?
    • Are there any more comments?
    Useful Phrases
  • 38.
    • Correcting Information
    • Sorry, I think you misunderstood what I said.
    • That's not quite what I had in mind.
    • That's not what I meant.
    Useful Phrases
  • 39.
    • Keeping the Meeting On Target (time, relevance, decisions)
    • We're running short of time. Please be brief. I'm afraid we've run out of time.
    • I'm afraid that's outside the scope of this meeting. Let's get back on track, why don't we?
    Useful Phrases
  • 40.
    • Keeping the Meeting On Target (time, relevance, decisions)
    • That's not really why we're here today . Why don't we return to the main focus of today's meeting. We'll have to leave that to another time. We're beginning to lose sight of the main point. Keep to the point, please. I think we'd better leave that for another meeting. Are we ready to make a decision?
    Useful Phrases