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English Conversation – Meetings

Thursday, November 22, 2012 @ 01:11 PM
posted by Jo

This is the preparation material for an English conversation lesson about meetings. A meeting is a gathering of people to discuss information, plan activities, make decisions and solve problems. Almost every company, group activity or project requires meetings. There are good meetings and bad meetings. Good meetings achieve a goal or purpose and make you feel that you’ve achieved something. Bad meetings make you feel that you have wasted your time. Whether we like them or hate them, learning how to participate well in a meeting is a beneficial skill to have. 


Word Meaning Example
Absent (adjective) Not present I will be absent from the meeting tomorrow.
Accomplish (verb) To succeed in doing We have a lot to accomplish in this meeting
Address (verb) To speak about a subject The first important item we need to address is communication.
Agenda (noun) List of things to talk about Has everyone received the agenda?
Brainstorm (verb) Generating lots of ideas Let’s brainstorm about some solutions
Chair (noun) The person who leads the meeting Who will be the chair of the meeting?
Clarification (noun) An explanation so that something is understood I need some clarification about this point
Conference (noun) A formal meeting for discussion The conference will be about company marketing
Consensus (noun) General agreement We need to come to a consensus about the best solution
Deadline (noun) A due date for completing something The deadline for submitting the report is 1st January.
Minutes (noun) Notes from a meeting Who will take the minutes for the meeting?
Objectives (noun) Goals to accomplish We have a lot of objectives to discuss
Punctual (adjective) To arrive on time Please try to be punctual for the meeting.
Strategy (noun) A plan to make something work We need a new strategy to address this problem.
Unanimous (adjective) When everyone is in complete agreement about something They came to a unanimous agreement

Phrasal Verbs 

  • Run through – “We have four points to run through in our meeting today.”
  • Deal with – “The most important issue we must deal with is communication.”
  • Leave aside – “I think we can leave this point aside for now.”
  • Come back to – “Let’s come back to this point at the end.”
  • Turn to – “Could everyone please turn to page 3 of the report?”
  • Skim over – “I had skimmed over the document before the meeting.” 

Conversation Questions

  • How often do you have to attend meetings?
  • What type of meetings are they? (business, formal, informal, casual, big, small)
  • Do you enjoy attending meetings?
  • Do you think that attending meetings is ever as waste of time?
  • Have you ever been the chair of a meeting?
  • What are the qualities of a good chairperson?
  • What are the qualities of a good participant?
  • How can meetings be run effectively?
  • What things shouldn’t you do in a meeting?
  • What is the most difficult meeting you have been to?
  • What are the most common problems experienced in a meeting?
  • How should people prepare for a meeting?
  • Have you ever taken minutes in a meeting?
  • Do you think it is difficult to reach unanimous decisions?
  • Have you ever attended an online or telephone meeting?
  • Was it easier or more difficult than attending a meeting in person?
  • What are the advantages of telephone meetings?
  • What are the disadvantages?
  • What manners and etiquette are important for meetings?
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