Business Meetings

English for meetings and presentations

The Format of a Typical Meeting

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1) Main Introductions Everyone should introduce themselves and define their roles (facilitator, note-taker, time-keeper etc.) This will let people know what to expect of them.

2) General introduction between all members: Make newcomers, or infrequent members feel welcome by having everyone introduce themselves, or do a 'check in' with all present - how is everyone feeling before the meeting? This is a good thing to do at all meetings.

3) Brief agenda intro (written on blackboard and/or give everyone copies of agenda, or use a single copy that everyone can add to and see) Include time limits (if nec.) and who's responsible for each item. Allow everyone to include items on the agenda.

4) Approve/revise agenda and time limits.

5) Review previous week's meeting. Any items not taken care of? Follow up.

6) For each agenda item, first define, then discuss:

a) CONTENT = what is discussed (topic or problem)

b) PROCESS = how the topic is discussed (ie, brainstorming, go-around, presentation)

c) RESOLUTION = is a decision needed or are we just discussing? If a decision is necessary, define what kind of decision will be made (ie, consensus, voting)

d) ACTION = record what action was decided on, who is responsible, and the date by which the action should begin or be completed by

7) Summarize meeting (note-taker) and make sure everyone agrees on what happened.

8) Set roles and agenda for the next meeting.

9) Evaluate meeting.

10) Closure: Do some sort of formal ending of the meeting, each person could say something; how the meeting went, what they expect to happen next, etc. &c.).

Before next meeting

1) review meeting
2) follow up on action items / action points

Useful Phrases for Meetings