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English: Members of the NASA and Republic of K... English: Members of the NASA and Republic of Korea delegation celebrate the completion of a successful bilateral meeting with the signing of the meeting’s minutes by Dae-Soo Yoon, Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Director General, Big Science Policy Bureau and NASA Associate Administrator Michael F. O’Brien. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Business English: Introduction to Meetings

One of the most common requirements of business English is holding meetings in English. The following sections provide useful language and phrases for conducting meetings and making contributions to a 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

The following pages focus on each part of the meeting and the appropriate language for each situation.

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


Good morning/afternoon, everyone.
If we are all here, let’s get started / start the meeting / start.

Welcoming and Introducing

Please join me in welcoming (name of participant)
We’re pleased to welcome (name of participant)
I’d like to extend a warm welcome to (name of participant)
It’s a pleasure to welcome (name of participant)
I’d like to introduce (name of participant)

Stating the Principal Objectives

We’re here today to …
I’d like to make sure that we …
Our main aim today is to …
I’ve called this meeting in order to …

Giving Apologies for Someone Who is Absent

I’m afraid.., (name of participant) can’t be with us today. She is in…
Unfortunately, (name of participant) … will not be with us to day because he …
I have received apologies for absence from (name of participant), who is in (place).

Reading the Minutes (notes) of the Last Meeting

To begin with I’d like to quickly go through the minutes of our last meeting.
First, let’s go over the report from the last meeting, which was held on (date)
Here are the minutes from our last meeting, which was on (date)