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onestopenglish.com

Top Tips for Business English
Teaching meeting skills
by Rosemary Richey

Activities

> Main article
> Teacher's notes

Introduction

Dealing with meetings in English requires special vocabulary. Words need to be in the right form and used correctly in certain phrases. Use the Macmillan English Dictionary when completing these activities.

Activity 1

The following words and phrases are frequently used in meetings. Check their meaning in the dictionary and write down a synonym or short explanation for each.

a to bring forward
_______________________________________________________
b to moderate
_______________________________________________________
c agenda
_______________________________________________________
d to digress
_______________________________________________________
e AOB
_______________________________________________________
f apologies
_______________________________________________________
g to chair
_______________________________________________________
h to get down to (business)
_______________________________________________________
i to call
_______________________________________________________
j to recap
_______________________________________________________
k to kick off
_______________________________________________________
l minutes
_______________________________________________________

Activity 2

Put the words and phrases from activity 1 into the following categories. Note that some can go in more than one category. Compare your answers with a partner.

before the meeting
______________
______________
______________
______________

opening the meeting
______________
______________
______________
______________

during the meeting
______________
______________
______________
______________

closing the meeting
______________
______________
______________
______________

Activity 3

Make other possible word forms. Use the dictionary and check your answers with a partner. Then write an example sentence for each word form.

noun apologies x x
verb x to digress x
adjective x x moderate
adverb x x x

_______________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________

Activity 4

Choose the correct word or phrase to complete each sentence. Check your answers in the dictionary.

1 ______________ the agenda is first to discuss our newest project. On top of / Set on
2 Usually a secretary __________ the minutes, but any participant can agree to do it too. makes / takes
3 For our next meeting we need to discuss teamwork, so this is ________ the agenda. in / on
4 I will _________________ the sales manager's apologies for not being able to come to the meeting. accept / except

Activity 5

Fill in the gaps with an appropriate word or phrase. If you need help, look back at the previous activities or in the dictionary.

Tips for a successful meeting

Business people often complain that meetings are disorganised and a waste of time. By following these basic steps you can make meetings more efficient and productive.

The (a) _________________ should prepare a clear (b) _____________ before the meeting. He/She should send this to the participants before the meeting.
(c) ___________ a meeting at a convenient time for the participants.
(d) ___________ the most important discussion points that should be covered.
Talk about old business from the previous meeting to
(e) ____________ the discussion.
Any discussion should be (f) __________________ by the person in charge of the meeting.
In the case of any (g) ________________, the person in charge of the meeting should bring the discussion back to the main topic.
Make sure the points are (h) _______________ to finish the meeting to avoid any misunderstanding. This is also the chance to ask for (i) __________ that may have been forgotten or left out.

Take the time to put these tips into practice. It will help you improve the organisation of your meetings and cut back on time wasted considerably!