Friday, July 9, 2010

Business Meetings in English

Meetings in English
Whether you are holding a meeting or attending a meeting, it is imporant that you understand key English phrases and expressions related to meetings. A successful meeting has no surprises. With proper preparation and careful organization, a meeting can run smoothly. The most typical complaint about meetings is that they run too long. Meetings that run longer than necessary can be very costly to a company or business. As the famous business expression says: Time is money. Setting goals and time limits, keeping to the agenda, and knowing how to refocus, are key components of an effective meeting. This may sound simple in your own native language, but it is a little trickier when  you or the participants do not speak fluent English. These pages will help you hold or attend a meeting with success. Review the vocabulary, read through the lessons, and then check your understanding.
Calling a Meeting
There are a number of ways that you may call or be called to a meeting. Some meetings are announced by e-mail, and others are posted on bulletin boards. If a meeting is announced at the end of another  metting, it is important to issue a reminder. A reminder can also come in the form of an e-mail or notice. Verbal announcements or reminders should always be backed up by document ones. The date, location, time, length,and purpose of the meeting should be included. It is also important to indicate exactly who is expected to attend, and who is not. If you are planning on allocating someone to take on a certain role, make personal contact with that person to inform them of his or her duty.
Business Meeting in English

Sample E-mail:
Subject: Meeting
Hi Everyone,
We will be having a meeting next Friday from 2:00 PM-4:00 PM in Room 3.
All supervisors are expected to attend. The purpose of the meeting is to
discuss the upcoming tourist season. As you probably have heard, this
could be our busiest season to date. There are already twenty bus tours
booked from Japan, and fifteen walking tours booked from North America.
We are also expecting Korean and Australian tours in late summer. Please
make arrangements to have other staff members cover your duties during
the meeting.
Thank you,
Opening a Meeting
Small Talk
Whether you are holding the meeting or attending the meeting it is polite to make small talk while you wait for the meeting to start. You should discuss things unrelated to the metting, such as weather, family, or weekend plans.
Sample Dialogue:
John: Hi Thomas. How are you?
Lee: Great thanks, and you?
John: Well, I'm good now that the warm weather has finally arrived.
Lee: I know what you mean. I thought winter was never going to end.
John: Have you dusted off your golf clubs yet?
Lee: Funny you should ask. I'm heading out with my brother-in-law for the first round of the year on Saturday.
Once everyone has arrived, the chairperson, or whoever is in charge of the meeting should of the meeting should formally welcome everyone to the meeting and thank the attendees for coming.
•    Well, since everyone is here, we should get started.
•    Hello, everyone. Thank you for coming today.
•    I think we'll begin now. First I'd like to welcome you all.
•    Thank you all for coming at such short notice.
•    I really appreciate you all for attending today.
•    We have a lot to cover today, so we really should begin. 
Roll Call/Apologies
If the meeting is small group,  it is probably unnecessary to take attendance out loud. The person who is taking the minutes will know everyone personally and can indicate present and who is absent. In a larger meeting, it may be necessary to send around an attendance sheet or call out names. If an important figure is absent, it may be necessary for the chairperson to apologize for his or her absence and offer a brief explanation for it.
•    It looks like everyone is here today.
•    If you notice anyone missing, please let John know so that she can make a note of it.
•    Unfortunately, Lee cannot join us today. He has been called away on business
•   Rock will be standing in to take the minutes today, as Lauri is home with the flu.

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