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Useful English Phrases for Running A Business Meeting

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Meetings play a very big part in the business world. During meetings, important decisions are made, people are promoted, demoted, hired or even fired! Below is useful English phrases for running a business meeting that you should learn.

Learn more about English phrases in Conversations and small talk

Phrases for Running a Business Meeting

The following phrases are used to conduct a meeting. These phrases are useful if you are called on to conduct a meeting.

1. Opening

  • Good morning/afternoon, everyone.
  • If we are all here, let’s get started / start the meeting / start.

2. 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)

3. 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 …

4. 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).

5. 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)

6. 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?

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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?

10. 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.

11. 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?

12. 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 …

13. Next Item

  • Let’s move onto the next item
  • Now that we’ve discussed X, let’s now …
  • The next item on today’s agenda is…
  • Now we come to the question of.

14. Giving Control to the Next Participant

  • I’d like to hand 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 …

15. Summarizing

  • Before we close today’s meeting, let me just summarize the main points.
  • Let me quickly go over today’s main points.
  • To sum up, …,.
  • OK, why don’t we quickly summarize what we’ve done today.
  • In brief, …
  • Shall I go over the main points?

16. 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.
  • Let’s bring this to a close for today.
  • Is there Any Other Business?

17. 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?

18. 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.

19. Closing the Meeting

  • The meeting is finished, we’ll see each other next …
  • The meeting is closed.
  • I declare the meeting closed.

Business English: Participating in a Meeting

The following phrases are used to participate in a meeting. These phrases are useful for expressing your ideas and giving input to a meeting.

1. Getting the Chairperson’s Attention

  • (Mister/Madam) chairman.
  • May I have a word?
  • If I may, I think…
  • Excuse me for interrupting.
  • May I come in here?

2. 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…

3. Asking for Opinions

  • Are you positive that…
  • Do you (really) think that…
  • (name of participant) can we get your input?
  • How do you feel about…?

4. Commenting

  • That’s interesting .
  • I never thought about it that way before.
  • Good point!
  • I get your point.
  • I see what you mean.

5. Agreeing

  • I totally agree with you.
  • Exactly!
  • That’s (exactly) the way I feel.
  • I have to agree with (name of participant).

6. Disagreeing

  • Unfortunately, I see it differently.
  • Up to a point I agree with you, but…
  • (I’m afraid) I can’t agree

7. Advising and Suggesting

  • Let’s…
  • We should…
  • Why don’t you….
  • How/What about…
  • I suggest/recommend that…

8. 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 repeat that…

9. Requesting Information

  • Please, could you…
  • I’d like you to…
  • Would you mind…
  • I wonder if you could…

10. 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?

11. 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?

12. Asking for Verification

  • You did say next week, didn’t you? (‘did’ is stressed)
  • Do you mean that…?
  • Is it true that…?

13. Asking for Spelling

  • Could you spell that, please?
  • Would you mind spelling that for me, please?

14. 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?

15. Correcting Information

  • Sorry, I think you misunderstood what I said.
  • Sorry, that’s not quite right.
  • I’m afraid you don’t understand what I’m saying.
  • That’s not quite what I had in mind.
  • That’s not what I meant.

16. Keeping the Meeting On Target (time, relevance, decisions)

  • We’re running short of time.
  • Well, that seems to be all the time we have today.
  • 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?
  • 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?

Phrases for Running a Business Meeting | Image

Here is some phrases for running a business meeting with ESL images. 

Phrases for Running a Business Meeting

Some Useful English Idioms…

Phrases for Running a Business Meeting


Tuesday 26th of January 2021

Number 19 is a bit off. "I declare the meeting closed" is very old school, I would never hear this in a modern day English setting. The verb 'declare' is very formal, too formal for business scenarios.