Effective Meetings (Part 1) by fjzhangm


									Business English Effective Meetings (Part I)

Effective Meetings (Part 2)
1. Introduction  In decision-making meetings, brainstorming meetings, and meetings with clients/customers it is necessary for each participant to present his/her point of view.  How can you present your ideas in English? Is there particular language we use to state our opinion? 2. Stating your opinion: Sample dialogue Maria: Right, can we start please? The main aim of the meeting is to decide the date of the launch. After that, we’ll talk about our marketing strategy and decide which sales outlets we should target. OK, when are we going to launch the goggles? Katharina, what do you think? Should it be early next year or should we wait until the Summer? Katharina: I’m in favour of February or March. There’s a gap in the market for out products. Why wait any longer? Maria: Thanks, Katharina. Ok, let’s hear a few more views. Sam what’s your opinion? Sam: Mmm, I don’t know about February. It’s a bit early in the year. I suggest we launch in May or June. People go on holiday then. It’s a peak period for buying goggles. Maria: Thanks, Kenneth. Simona, what’s your view? You’re a keen swimmer, I know. Simona: In my opinion, February’s the best time. We could promote them in swimming pools and opticians. The price should be high. I’d say, at least £70. 3. Language focus : Giving opinions and making suggestions I think/feel/believe… In my opinion, we should… In my view…/My view is… I’m in favour of… As far as I’m concerned… Personally, I think… I’m inclined to believe/think that… I suggest… Perhaps we should… We could… Why don’t we… How about… What about… What if…
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Business English Effective Meetings (Part I)

4.Levels of agreement There are many levels of agreement:
------------Disagree totally



------------------------------ -------------------------
totally committed

wait to be convinced limited agreement agreement but no conviction

5. Agreeing and disagreeing Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? How would you respond to them? a) b) c) d) e) Large companies are less efficient than state companies. The flatter the structure, the better the organization. Governments shouldn’t try to protect their own national companies. Women make better managers than men. Marketing is the most important function in a company.

6. Language focus: Agreeing and disagreeing Total disagreement I totally disagree. I couldn’t agree less. You must be joking! Wait to be convinced I can see what you’re getting at. There are two sides to the argument. On the one hand…on the other… I’m not sure/convinced about… I just think we need more time. Limited agreement I agree, but I’m not against, it, but… Yes, I’m with you. 7. Language focus: Agreeing and disagreeing Total commitment I’m 100% behind you. I entirely/completely/totally/absolutely agree with you. Responding positively That’s marvellous. That’s great. That’s fine. Responding neutrally.
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Business English Effective Meetings (Part I)

OK. All right. I see your point. I understand your concern. Responding negatively. That’s crazy. That would be a disaster.

8. Interrupting & clarifying: sample dialogue Peter: Well, we’re running short of time, so I’d just like to hear your views on the cover photo for our new brochure. Michael, what do you think? Michael: I think it’s great. It’s just the right image for us – modern, serious, hi-tech. Sarah: Oh, come on, Michael. It’s virtually the same as last year. And it’s so predictable, all those dull shots of computer screens. In my view we need something more colourful and eyecatching… Peter: Just a moment, Sarah. Michael hasn’t finished. Can we hear what he has to say? 9. Interrupting & clarifying: sample dialogue Part 2 Michael: Well, I was just going to say that the photo should clearly say what it is we do. Sarah: Yeah, I agree, but it has to be attractive, exciting – it has to make people want to know more about us. Think of some of the other companies’ brochures – Microsoft, for example. It’s full of brilliant graphics, the text is really clear and simple, it’s ‘IT-chic… Michael: What on earth do you mean by ‘IT-chic’? Sarah: What I mean is - it portrays the up-to-date, move-with-times image that all the successful IT companies have nowadays and if we don’t conform we’ll lose half of the market. Peter: I really think we’re getting off the point. It’s the cover photo we need to make a decision about. Anyway it’s nearly 5 o’clock, so we’ll have to wrap it up.

10. Interruptions can have different intentions:      To To To To To ask for clarification add opinion ask for more details change the direction of the discussion disagree
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Business English Effective Meetings (Part I)

11. Language focus: Interrupting Excuse me, may I interrupt? If I may interrupt, could you explain… Sorry to interrupt, but… Do you think so? My impression is that… What? That’s impossible. We/ I think… Just a moment…. Can I say something here? 12. Handling interruptions Different ways of handling interruptions:      Promise to come back to a point later Politely disagree with an interruption Say the interruption is not relevant or that time is short Politely accept the interruption and respond to it before continuing Reject a suggestion.

language focus – Handling interruptions Yes, go ahead. Sorry, please let me finish… If I may finish this point… Can I come to that later? That’s not really relevant at this stage… Can we leave that to another discussion? I’m afraid I can’t agree with you on that. As I was saying… That’s out of the question.

13. language focus – Asking for and giving clarification? Probing questions What do you mean by…? I’m not sure I really understand… Could you go into more detail about…? Reflective questions So you’re worried about…? If I understand you,… Clarifying This means… What I mean is…
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Business English Effective Meetings (Part I)

What I want to say is… To explain this in more detail… Checking that the clarification is sufficient Is that okay? Is that clearer now? 14. Phrasal Verbs for meetings
Preposition/ Adverb Phrasal Verb Explanation Notes for meetings, appointments, parties, etc. To wait a short time Example Sentence


to be on

Is the meeting for tomorrow on?


to hold on To look into something to be off to call off

Hold on a minute! That is completely irrelevant. Jane, could you look into that possibility for us? I'm afraid the deal is off with Smith. She had to call off her appointment with Jack because she was ill. Can we put that meeting off until tomorrow? That wraps things up, so thanks for coming everyone. That point is coming up in a moment. The construction of the bypass must go ahead. We’ll lose the client if we don’t complete it on time. Let’s just go over the decisions that have been made today.

Into Off Off

Investigate not valid anymore to cancel to postpone an appointment To finish, used for meetings, presentations, etc. To appear


to put off


To wrap something up To come up



To go ahead

To proceed


To go through

To review

* Some of these phrasal verbs have several other meanings!!!! 15. What are Phrasal verbs? A phrasal verb is a verb + preposition or adverb * Phrasal verbs are often used in conversation instead of more formal verbs e.g. go on instead of continue.
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Business English Effective Meetings (Part I)

 Some phrasal verbs have a literal meaning. e.g. Prices have gone up a lot.  Many phrasal verbs have an idiomatic (=non-literal) meaning. e.g. Did you find out how much next year’s budget is? 16. Phrasal verbs: meanings  The same verb with a different preposition has a different meaning. Compare: Joan, can you look after the minutes for us? I’ve been looking for someone to replace Carol for 3 weeks.  Some phrasal verbs have more than one meaning. Compare: I get on well with my colleagues. Let’s get on the train. It’s about to leave. 17. Types of Phrasal verbs : Separable or not?  There are four kinds of phrasal verbs. 1) Phrasal verbs without an object (non-separable) e.g. break down The new coffee machine we bought has broken down. 2) Phrasal verbs that can be separated by an object e.g. turn down * If the object is a noun, it can go either after both parts of the phrasal verb or between them. We had to turn down their offer./We had to turn their offer down. * If the object is a pronoun it must go between the two parts. We turned it down. 18. Types of Phrasal verbs : Separable or not? 3) Phrasal verbs that can’t be separated by an object. e.g. look for
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John’s looking for potential new clients. 4) Phrasal verbs with 2 prepositions/adverbs e.g. look forward to I look forward to meeting you again.

19. Ending the meeting 2 general rules 1) Meetings should end on time! 2) Decision-making meetings should end with decisions! The Chair should close the meeting with: | V a restatement of the objectives | V a summary of decisions taken | V A summary of the action now required | V Reference to any individual responsibilities. | V Fix a date for a new meeting (if necessary). | V Thank people for coming.

20. After the meeting  It is essential to follow up with action. A brief memorandum of conclusions should be written and distributed to all participants.  Inform appropriate people who did not attend the meeting about essential decisions made.  Learn from each meeting! The Chair should seek feedback on the meetings to try to improve future meetings.

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21. Ending the meeting : language focus  Summarising I think we should end there. Just to summarise… We’ve covered everything, so I’d like to go over the decisions we’ve taken.. So, to conclude…we’ve agreed…  Confirming action We’ll contact… John will… We’ve got to… We need to look at…  Referring to next contact We’ll meet again next month… We look forward to hearing from you… It’s been a pleasure to see you today and I look forward to our next meeting…

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