Essential Meeting Phrases for Business in English

The most important phrases for chairing and participating in business meetings in English.


Essential Meeting Phrases

OpeningsWelcoming and Introducing
sth = something

V = verb

I = informal style
N = neutral style
F = formal style

UK = common usage in the United Kingdom

USA = common usage in the United States of America/Canada

Aus = common usage in Australia/New Zealand


Comfort,. J, Effective Meetings, OUP, Oxford, 1997.

Let’s get started.

Alright. Let’s get down to business.

We’ll start the meeting, shall we?

Let’s begin.

Shall we begin?
Welcome everyone.

Has everyone met Brian from our Sydney office?

I’d like you all to meet Betty, from ADF Communications.

I think we all know each other.

I’d like to especially welcome Jennifer Tully, who’s come all the way from Manchester.

Purpose and OutcomeProcess and Agenda
So the purpose of today’s meeting is to + V... (come up with solutions for our declining sales).

By the end of today’s meeting we need to have + V3 (past participle) (e.g. come up with ideas for our new newsletter).

I’d like to go around the room to hear your opinions.

First Jeff will present the new product range and then I’d like to hear your opinions.

Do you all have a copy of the agenda?

I’d like to begin with agenda item 3.

Are there any questions about the agenda before we begin?
TimingAddressing Agenda Items
We just have the one hour.

We need to be finished by 11 o’clock.

The meeting will take about an hour.

We need to finish at/by 10 o'clock.
So let’s kick off with agenda item 1 – the sales figures from June. Kylie, would you like to update us?

Kylie, could you start us off by giving us an update on the July sales?

Could we start off by agreeing on the minutes of last meeting?

So let’s start with the July sales figures.

I think that about covers the first item. Let’s move on to item 2 – the new product range.

Any final comments on sales before we move on?
Stating BackgroundAsking for opinions
As you know, S+V...

You may know that S+V...

You may have heard that S+V...

The background to this is that S+V...

The reason we need to look at X is S+V...
What do you think?

What’s your view?

What’s your opinion?

Mike, where do you stand on this?

Michelle, what do you think about this?

Jeff? (rising intonation to a known question)
Stating OpinionsMaking Suggestions
I think…
In my opinion…
As I see it,…
It seems to me that….
My view is that…
In my view…
From my perspective…
My opinion is….
As far as I’m concerned…

We should + V…
We need to + V…
We have to = V...
We must + V...
We could + V…

How about we + V…

How about V+ing.../noun

What about we + V...

What about V+ing/noun

Let’s + V…

What if we V (simple or past )…?

Keeping to the AgendaBeing Heard
I think we’d better move on to the next item.

Could we just keep to item 1 for the moment please? We are looking at the marketing approach later in the meeting.

Could just stick to the agenda please Fred? We can discuss marketing at the next meeting.

Time is moving on, so can we just stick to agenda item 1 for the moment please?
Could I just say that S+V...

Could just add that S+V...

Could I just make the point that S+V...

Sorry to interrupt, but…

Could I just finish?

Could you let me finish please?
So let’s see where we stand.

Let’s summarise.

So we’ve agreed that S+V/to + V

So what have we agreed?
So Michael, could you talk to Olga about new software and report back at the next meeting please?

Would anyone like to update the database?

Any volunteers to write up a questionnaire?

So I’ll contact suppliers for two quotes by the end of next week.

Monica is going to complete a report with Graham’s assistance by Friday the 23rd of April.
Meeting VerbsThanking and Following Up
To chair a meeting (to lead the meeting)
To take the minutes. (to write what was said and agreed in the meeting)
To call a meeting
To organise a meeting
To have a meeting
To hold a meeting
To cancel a meeting
To bring forward a meeting (move the meeting closer to now)
To push back/postpone a meeting (to move the meeting later in time)

To brainstorm sth (e.g. ideas/solutions)

To report (back) on sth
To update sb on sth
To fill sb in on sth
To outline sth
To run sb through sth
To talk sb through sth

To liaise with sb (work with and have regular contact with somebody)
To work with sb on sth

To contact sb

To go around the room (to get every participant's opinions)

To write sth up
Okay, well thanks very much everyone for a very productive meeting.

Thank you everyone. Have a good day.

I’ll circulate (send out) the minutes next week.

So, we’ll meet again the same time next week.
The most important phrases you need for chairing and participating in business meetings in English.