II - Reviewing Past Business. In a meeting, two or more people come together for the purpose of discussing a (usually) predetermined topic such as business or community event planning


In a meeting, two or more people come together for the purpose of discussing a (usually) predetermined topic such as business or community event planning, often in a formal setting.

In addition to coming together physically (in real life, face to face), communication lines and equipment can also be set up to have a discussion between people at different locations, e.g. a conference call or an e-meeting.

Meetings are vital for management and communication. Properly run meetings save time, increase motivation, productivity, and solve problems. Meetings create new ideas and initiatives. Meetings diffuse conflict in a way that emails and memos cannot. Meetings are effective because the written word only carries 7% of the true meaning and feeling. Meetings are better than telephone conferences because only 38% of the meaning and feeling is carried in the way that things are said. The other 55% of the meaning and feeling is carried in facial expression and non-verbal signals. That's why meetings are so useful.

The main typesof meetings are:

Decision making meeting

Information giving meeting

Spontaneous / emergency meeting

Routine meeting

Internal meeting

Customer / Client / Supplier

- first meeting

- established relationship


Meetings also fall into several categories, the most common of which are:

2) Work Meetings, which produce a product or intangible result such as a decision

3) Staff meeting typically a meeting between a manager and those that report to the manager (possibly indirectly).

4) Team meeting a meeting among colleagues working on various aspects of a team project.

5) Ad-hoc meeting a meeting called together for a special purpose

6) Management meeting a meeting among managers

7) Board meeting a meeting of the Board of directors of an organization

8) Annual general meeting (AGM) -is an annual meeting that official bodies are often required by law to hold. It is an opportunity for the shareholders and partners to receive copies of the company's accounts as well as reviewing fiscal information for the past year and asking any questions regarding the decisions the business will take in the future

9) One to one meeting a meeting between two individuals

10) Off-site meeting also called "offsite retreat" or "retreat" and known as an Awaydaymeeting in the UK

11) Kick-off Meeting is the first meeting with the project team and the client of the project to discuss the role of each team member


The choice of structure and style in running an effective meeting is hugely dependent on several factors:

  • the situation (circumstances, mood, atmosphere, background, etc
  • the organisational context (the implications and needs of the business or project or organisation)
  • the needs and interests of those attending
  • the aims of the meeting.


Meeting aimsinclude:

giving information



generating ideas



consulting and getting feedback

crisis management

setting targets and objectives

setting tasks and delegating

making decisions


finding solutions/solving problems

performance reporting/assessment

special subjects guest speakers


Meetings consist of a chairperson and participants. Both have specific responsibilities to guarantee that a meeting is effective. A combination of language and general communication skills is essential.


Chairperson Participants


The process

Before the meeting takes place, it is important to invite participants to propose items or points for the agenda. Drawing up the agenda is usually the responsibility of the secretary or the chair. When the chair opens the meeting, it is usual to run through the agenda quickly. The first item is usually Matters Arising, to allow participants to go through the minutes of the previous meeting. After this, the discussion of the other points can begin. During the discussion, participants make recommendations and proposals in order to solve problems. If the meeting is scheduled for a whole day, it is typical to take breaks and to adjourn for lunch. Of course, it is necessary to resume [start again] after lunch. In the middle of the afternoon, participants often ask for a time outif they are feeling tired. At the end of the meeting, the last or next-to-last point is often AOB(Any Other Business) which gives participants the opportunity to raise other issues not included in the main agenda. During the meeting someone is nominated to take the minutes and after the meeting this person will write up the minutes for circulation to the other participants before the next meeting. Finally, the chair will close the meeting.



Meetings generally follow a more or less similar structure and can be divided into the following parts:

I - Introductions

Opening the Meeting

Welcoming and Introducing Participants

Stating the Principal Objectives of a Meeting

Giving Apologies for Someone Who is absent

II - Reviewing Past Business

Reading the Minutes (notes) of the Last Meeting

Dealing with Recent Developments

III - Beginning the Meeting

Introducing the Agenda

Allocating Roles (secretary, participants)

Agreeing on the Ground Rules for the Meeting (contributions, timing, decision-making, etc.)

IV - Discussing Items

Introducing the First Item on the Agenda

Closing an Item

Next Item

Giving Control to the Next Participant

V - Finishing the Meeting


Finishing Up

Suggesting and Agreeing on Time, Date and Place for the Next Meeting

Thanking Participants for Attending

Closing the Meeting



Here are some golden rules for a Chairperson on how to prepare and run effective meetings.

Preparation for meetings

Decide objectives.

What type of meeting (formal or informal, short or long, regular or a "one time," internal / external information giving / discussion / decision making)?

Prepare an agenda (list the items to review/discuss/inspect).

Decide time / place / participants / who must attend and who can be notified of decisions.

Study subjects for discussion.

Anticipate different opinions.

Speak to participants.

Be sure that the Secretary

Obtains agenda and list of participants.

Informs participants and checks:

- room, equipment, paper, materials.

- refreshments, meals, accommodation, travel.

Be sure that Participants

Study subjects on agenda, work out preliminary options.

If necessary, find out team or department views.

Prepare own contribution, ideas, visual supports, etc.

During the meeting

Start and end on time.

Introduce objectives, agenda.

Introduce speakers.

Define time limits for contributions.

Control discussion, encourage ideas from all the participants.

Summarize discussion at key points.

Impose control on strong personalities.

Ensure that key decisions are written down by the secretary.

Ensure that conclusions and decisions are clear and understood.

Define actions to be taken and individual responsibilities.



Don't Meet. Avoid a meeting if the same information could be covered in a memo, e-mail or brief report.

Set Objectives for the Meeting.Before planning the agenda, determine the objective of the meeting. You should be able to define the purpose of the meeting in 1 or 2 sentences at most. "This meeting is to plan the new marketing campaign" or "this meeting is to review shipping's new policy for handling returns." That way everyone knows why they are there, what needs to be done, and how to know if they are successful.

Provide an Agenda Beforehand.Your agenda needs to include a one-sentence description of the meeting objectives, a list of the topics to be covered and a list stating who will address each topic for how long. Follow the agenda closely during the meeting.

Assign Meeting Preparation.Give all participants something to prepare for the meeting, and that meeting will take on a new significance to each group member.

Assign Action Items.Don't finish any discussion in the meeting without deciding how to act on it.

Examine Your Meeting Process.Don't leave the meeting without assessing what took place and making a plan to improve the next meeting.


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


Opening Good morning/afternoon, everyone. Thank you for coming. If we are all here, let's get started / start. (It's ten o'clock). Let's start... Lets get down to business. We've received apologies for absence from Amanda, who is in London/off sick. Any comments on our previous meeting? Stating objectives We're here today to hear about plans for... Our objective is to discuss different ideas... What we want to do today is to reach a decision... Introducing the agenda Have you all received a copy of the agenda? Can we take it as read? You've all seen the agenda ... There are X items on the agenda. First, ... second, ... third, ... lastly,... There is one main item to discuss... Allocating roles (secretary, participants) Jeremy, would you mind taking the minutes?/could you take the minutes? John has kindly agreed to give us a report on... Introducing the first Item on the agenda So, let's start with ... So, the first item on the agenda is Bob, would you like to introduce this item? I'd like to ask Mary to tell us about... I sugest we go round the table first. Closing an item and introducing the next item If nobody has anything else to add, lets... Let's move on to the next point. Can we go on to think about... Controlling the meeting Sorry Hans, can we let Magda finish? Er, Henry, we can't talk about that. Commenting That's interesting. I never thought about it that way before. Good point! I get your point./I see what you mean. Involving people Any comments? We havent heard from you yet, Bob. Can we hear what Jeremy has to say? Summarizing So, what you're saying is ... Can I summarize that? You mean... So, the main point is ... Voting Can we have a quick show of hands? All in favour? Those against? The proposal is carried/rejected. Finishing up I think we've covered everything. So, we've decided... Shall I go over the main points? 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 ... Thanking Participants for Attending I'd like to thank Mary for coming over from London. Thank you all for attending. Thanks for your participation. Closing the meeting I think we can close the meeting now. I declare the meeting closed. The meeting is closed, we'll see each other next...


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

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? Requesting Information Please, could you... I'd like you to... Would you mind... I wonder if you could Asking for Repetition I'm afraid I didn't understand/catch that. Could you repeat that, please? I missed that. Could you say it again, please? Could you explain to me?
Asking for Opinions What do you think about? How do you feel about? What is your opinion about this? Are you positive that... Do you (really) think that... Expressiong opinion Im convinced/positive that (strong) I feel that (neutral) In my opinion (neutral) As I see it (neutral) It seems to me (neutral) I tend to think that (weak) I would suggext that (weak)
Agreeing I totally/completely agree with you. That's (exactly) the way I feel. I agree. Exactly!/Absolutly. I have to agree with Kate. I can agree to that I support that. To a certain extend I agree but I can partly agree to that but   Disagreeing I totally disagree with you. (I'm afraid) I dont/can agree. Im not sure. Im afraid I cant agree to that. I cant support that. Im against that because Unfortunately, I see it differently. This may be right but I see what youre saying but Im not totally convinced because
Interrupting Excuse me, may I ask for clarification on this? If I may interrupt, could you say...? Sorry to interrupt, but... Do you think so? My impression is... What? That's impossible. We / I think ... Handling interruptions Yes, go ahead. Sorry, please let me finish... If I may finish this point... Can I come to that later? Thatsnot really relevant at this stage... Can we leave that to another discussion?
Asking for clarification Could you be more specific? Can you explain that (in more detail)? What do you mean by...? I don't see what you mean. Could we have some more details, please? I don't quite follow you. What exactly do you mean? I'm afraid I don't quite understand what your are getting at. Clarifying This means... What I mean is... What I want to say is... To explain this in more detail... Let me put this another way... Checking that the clarification is sufficient Is that okay? / Is that clearer now?
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 what I meant. Advising and Suggesting Lets We should/shouldnt How/What about +ing? I suggest/recommend that...



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