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Business Meetings

English Level: Intermediate to Advanced Materials: Whiteboard, markers, handouts

Duration: 60 minutes


  • Whiteboard or flip chart

  • Handout on meeting vocabulary, phrases and exercises (materials included)

Objective: To improve participants' ability to participate effectively in business meetings, including language use and meeting etiquette.

1. Introduction (5 minutes):

  • Introduce the topic of meetings and why they are important in a business setting.

  • Discuss the purpose of meetings, such as sharing information, decision-making, and problem-solving.

  • Review common types of meetings, such as staff meetings, project meetings, and client meetings.

2. Vocabulary (10 minutes):

  • Provide a handout with common meeting-related vocabulary, such as agenda, minutes, action items, and chairperson. (see below)

  • Have participants work in pairs or small groups to match the vocabulary words with their definitions. (see below)

3. Meeting Etiquette (10 minutes):

  • Discuss common meeting etiquette, such as arriving on time, silencing phones, and actively participating. (see handout)

  • Have participants brainstorm additional meeting etiquette rules and share them with the group.

  • Role play different meeting scenarios and have participants act out appropriate meeting etiquette in each scenario.

    • Examples:​

    • Scenario 1: Introducing New Ideas You are the chairperson of a meeting with your team members. One of your colleagues, Sarah, has come up with a new idea that she is excited to share with the group. Role-play the meeting scenario and introduce Sarah's new idea.

    • Scenario 2: Discussing Action Items You are a team leader in a business meeting with your colleagues. You need to discuss and assign tasks related to a project. Role-play the meeting scenario and ensure that all attendees understand their assigned tasks and deadlines.

    • Scenario 3: Clarifying Misunderstandings You are in a meeting with your client to discuss the scope of a project. One of your team members misunderstood a requirement and provided incorrect information to the client. Role-play the meeting scenario and clarify the misunderstanding with the client and your team member.

    • Scenario 4: Dealing with Interruptions You are in a meeting with your team discussing a new project. One of your team members keeps interrupting and talking over others. Role-play the meeting scenario and address the issue politely and effectively.

    • Scenario 5: Handling Difficult Questions You are in a meeting with your client to present your proposal for a new project. One of the attendees asks a difficult and challenging question that catches you off guard. Role-play the meeting scenario and handle the question professionally and confidently.

4. Language Use (20 minutes):

  • Review common phrases used in meetings, such as "May I speak?" and "I agree with that point."

  • Discuss the importance of using clear and concise language and avoiding jargon.

  • Provide participants with sample meeting topics and have them work in pairs to prepare and present their own meeting agenda and action items.

    • Example meeting topics:

    • Launch of a new product

    • Annual budget review

    • Performance review and goal-setting for employees

    • Planning a company event or conference

    • Updating company policies and procedures

    • Planning and executing a marketing campaign

    • Discussing new business partnerships or collaborations

    • Addressing employee complaints or concerns

    • Planning for a company expansion or relocation

    • Reviewing progress on a long-term project or initiative

5. Wrap-Up (15 minutes):

  • Have participants summarize what they learned about effective meeting participation.

  • Provide feedback and additional tips for improving meeting skills.

  • Encourage participants to practice their skills by participating in or leading meetings in their workplace.

Overall, this lesson will help participants improve their ability to participate in and lead effective meetings in a business setting. It includes a mix of vocabulary, role play, and language use exercises to ensure participants have a well-rounded understanding of meeting best practices.

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