Open a Business Meeting

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Today, we are going to discuss and look at some down-to-earth expressions and phases used popularly in meeting context.

Firstly you will introduce new people if available or maybe just simply mention small matters that you want to first clear up such as informing somebody’s absence at the meeting that you would like to take care of that or you explain that first. Then you get into the beginning of the agenda. So what is an agenda here? An agenda is a list of things or subjects that you are going to talk about or discuss at a meeting. If you only joke around; for example, first you talk about one thing and then other things which are totally different, the meeting would be confusing. Apparently, the agenda will help you to organize the meeting and the listener will easily follow the list of things in the agenda for each thing one by one.

Along with the agenda, another way to help organize your thoughts and what you want to say in a meeting is to say things like “first of all”, “the first thing of all the things I want to talk about is”, and then you can say “next” which means after the first thing what you will say next. So, there are a lot of things, lot of words you can do too; we call them markers. They are really to organize your thoughts but also help the other people in the room understand what you want to do. Accordingly, if you say “first”, maybe later you say “second” and then “third”. People can understand that you go to a new point or new problem or new discussion. But if you mention some others like “next”, “then”, “lastly”, just to list a few is just to structure and organize what you are discussing, what you are saying. These are very useful for things like meetings or presentations where you need to give some help to other people who are listening to you, so they can follow what happened.

And another phrase you need to know is “to take the minutes”. When you take the minutes, you write down all different things that happen during the meeting and something that a secretary usually does. So later on, the secretary will email everyone the minutes later.  When they have the next meeting maybe next week or next month, they might look at the minutes from the old meeting again to see whether they have done the things they have set to do. After all, that is all of necessary vocabulary you have to master in order to know how to run a meeting or to lead a meeting.


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