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Useful English Phrases for Participating in a Business Meeting

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Opening the Meeting

Good morning/afternoon, everyone.
If we are all here, let's
. . . get started (OR)
start the meeting. (OR)
. . . start.

Welcoming and Introducing Participants

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)

Stating the Principal Objectives of a 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 ...

Giving Apologies for Someone Who is Absent

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).

Reading the Minutes (Notes) of the 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)

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 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.

Allocating Roles (secretary, participants)

(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?

Agreeing on the Ground Rules for the Meeting (contributions, timing, decision-making, etc.)

We will hear a short report on each point first, followed by a discussion round 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.

Introducing the First Item on the Agenda

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?

Closing an Item

I think that covers the first item.
Shall we leave that item?
If nobody has anything else to add,

Next Item

Let's move onto the next item
The next item on the agenda is
Now we come to the question of.

Giving Control to the Next Participant

I'd like to hand over to Mark, who is going to lead the next point.
Right, Dorothy, over to you.

Summarizing

Before we close, let me just summarize the main points.
To sum up, ...
In brief,
Shall I go over the main points?

Finishing Up

Right, it looks as though we've covered the main items
Is there Any Other Business?

Suggesting and Agreeing on Time, Date and Place for the Next Meeting

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.

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 closed.
I declare the meeting closed.

Explore useful phrases and proper language use in these business English articles:

Introduction and Example Meeting Dialogue

Phrase Reference Sheet for Participating in a Meeting

Phrase Reference Sheet for Running a Meeting

Formal or Informal? Appropriate Language in Business Situations

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