Office Meeting Conversation In English - Video + Explanation

conversation speaking practice Sep 17, 2021
Office Meeting Conversation In English


English is the language of international business. Professionals need to continuously grow their competence and fluency in order to remain competitive in the workplace. Meetings are a part of our everyday work life and individuals need to develop effective communication skills for them.

Understanding the right phrases, language, and conversational tone to use during a workplace meeting will help with career progression in our fast-paced international economy.

This blog article shares essential communication skills for a business meeting, including useful phrases, vocabulary, and terminology. You’ll improve your ability to lead and participate in meetings by clearly and fluently expressing your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions. 


Opening the Meeting

Welcome participants with a few quick phrases so you can start discussing the main points of the meeting:

Good morning/afternoon, everyone.

If we are all here, let's

. . . get started (OR)

start the meeting. (OR)

. . . start.

Good morning everyone. If we're all here, let's get started.

Good afternoon all. If we’re all here, let’s start (the meeting).



Welcoming and Introducing Participants

If you have a meeting with new participants, make sure to introduce them before as you start the meeting.

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)

Before I get started, I'd like you to please join me in welcoming Anna Dinger from our office in New York.


If we want to welcome and introduce participants in a more informal way, we can use the following phrases:

Everyone, this is (name of participant)

Before we begin, I want to introduce you all to (name of participant) 


Stating the Principal Objectives of a Meeting

It's important to start the meeting by clearly stating the main objectives for the meeting.

We're here today to

Our aim (today) is to ...

I've called this meeting in order to ...

By the end of this meeting, I'd like to have …

Our main objectives for today’s meeting are …

We're here today to discuss the upcoming merger, as well as go over last quarter's sales figures. 

Our aim is to discuss our new digital marketing strategy for the upcoming launch. 

By the end of this meeting, I’d like to have everyone’s opinions and thoughts on how we should cut our spending in the next quarter.



Giving Apologies for Someone Who is Absent

If someone important is absent from the meeting, it's a good idea to let others know that they will be missing from the meeting.

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).

Unfortunately…, (name of participant) is unable to attend today. She’s asked if we can continue without her...

I'm afraid Robert can't be with us today. He's in London meeting with clients but will be back next week.

Unfortunately, John is unable to attend today. He’s asked if we can continue without him…


Reading The Minutes of The Last Meeting

If you have regular meetings that repeat, be sure to read the minutes from the last meeting to make sure that everyone is on the same level.

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)

First, let's go over the minutes from our last meeting which was held last Tuesday. Jeff, could you please read the notes?

Here are the minutes from our last meeting, which was on 12.09.


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Dealing With Recent Developments

Checking in with others will help you keep everyone up to date on the progress of various projects. 

Jacky, can you tell us how the ABC project is progressing?

Jacky, how is the XYZ project coming along?

Jim, have you completed the report on the new sales figures?

Has everyone received a copy of the Polo Foundation report on current digital marketing trends?

Anna, please tell us how the arrangements for the merger are coming along



Moving Forward

Use these phrases below to move to the main focus of your meeting.

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 that needs to be taken care of?

If there are no more points/suggestions, I'd like to move on to today's topic.

Once again, I'd like to thank you all for coming. Now, shall we get down to business?


Introducing The Agenda

Before you get into the main points of the meeting, double-check that everyone has a copy of the agenda for the meeting.

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.

Have you all received a copy of the agenda? Great. Shall we take the points in order?

Does everyone have a copy of today’s agenda? Good. There are three items on the agenda today. First of all …


Allocating Roles 

As you progress through the meeting, it's important that people keep track of what's going on. Make sure to allocate note-taking.

(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?

Andy, would you mind taking notes today?

Susan has kindly agreed to give us the run-down on this matter


Agreeing on The Ground Rules for The Meeting 

If there is no regular routine to your meeting, point out the basic rules for discussion throughout the meeting.

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

I suggest we go round the table first to get everyone's feedback. After that, we'll take a vote.


Introducing the First Item on The Agenda

Use these phrases to begin with the first item on the agenda. Make sure to use sequencing language to connect your ideas throughout the meeting.

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?

“Shall we start with the first item? Excellent. Patrick will introduce our plans for the merger and then will discuss the implications.”


Closing an Item

As you move from item to item, quickly state that you have finished with the previous discussion.

I think that covers the first item.

Shall we leave that item?

If nobody has anything else to add,

I think that covers the important points of the merger.


Next Item

These phrases will help you transition to the next item on the agenda.

Let's move onto the next item

The next item on the agenda is

Now we come to the question of...

Now, let's move onto the next item. We've been having a bit of a personnel crunch lately.



Giving Control to The Next Participant

If someone takes over your role, give control to them with one of the following phrases.

I'd like to hand it over to Mary, who is going to lead the next point.


Right, David, over to you.

I'd like to hand you over to Liam, who is going to discuss the personnel issues.



As you finish the meeting, quickly sum up the main points of the meeting.

Before we close, let me just summarize the main points.

To sum up, ...

In brief,

In short,

To summarize, ...

Shall I go over the main points?

To sum up, we've moved forward with the merger and expect to start work on the project in March. Also, the personnel department has decided to hire additional staff to help us with the increased demand.


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

As you end the meeting, make sure to arrange for the next meeting if necessary.

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. 

Before we leave, I'd like to fix the next meeting. What about next Thursday?



Thanking Participants for Attending

It's polite to thank everyone for attending the meeting and for their participation.

I'd like to thank Marrisa and Cintia for coming over from Buenos Aires.

Thank you all for attending/coming.

Thank you for your input today

Thank you all for your participation and I'll see you next Thursday.


Closing The Meeting

You can close the meeting with a simple statement.

The meeting is closed.

I declare the meeting closed.

That’s the end of today’s meeting.

I’d like to close the meeting for today.


Let’s Wrap Up

By memorizing and practicing the key phrases we’ve learned today, you’ll be better equipped to deal with various common functions in any future business meetings. It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t overthink and that ‘short and simple’ is always the best way to communicate. 


In international business, we prefer a back-and-forth approach to our communication. I say a little bit, then you say a little bit, then I say a little bit more, and then you say a little bit more. We should avoid waffling and digressions as much as possible, and we should know before the meeting starts what our main objectives of the meeting are and how we’re going to communicate and express them. 


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Thank you for reading today’s blog article, and leave a comment with any questions you have and things you specifically struggle with when communicating in English and in international business. 


To your success!

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