Not every meeting could have turned into an email. You tried to look away when you saw a new event on your virtual calendar, hoping it would magically turn into text, but it's still there. There's nothing to do but sigh, roll your eyes and put on your best smile along with your headphones.
Does it really have to be this way?
Fortunately, there's no need for hard feelings when a business meeting alert pops up on your screen. Whether you're in a meeting or just in the spotlight of your webcam, we've got you covered. Sit back and relax, because we have prepared 120 phrases that you can use in your next business meeting, even when the warning surprises you.
Phrases to use if you are holding a meeting
You've scheduled a call, invited your team members, and now you have enough time to sit on pins and needles while you wait for the meeting to start.
maybe you planto tell your team about an upcoming change, and you already know the meeting could be worse. Sometimes the call is to share updates, but there is so much to say that it becomes impossible to think of all the details to share.
If you're shuddering at the thought of where to go from here, we're here to give you a lifeline. From opening a meeting to saying goodbye to your teammates, we've listed everything there is to say in a business meeting.
What to say when opening a meeting
First things first - start a meeting. It seems obvious that you will need to open the meeting before you get to your meeting location. But sometimes even things as simple as the day can slip your mind in a meeting, especially when you need to control your nerves.
Let's go over all the phrases that can be useful in the first few minutes of your call—from welcoming and introducing participants to sharing your meeting's agenda and goals.
👋 Phrases to welcome and introduce meeting participants
Making participants feel welcome is not obvious. This is especially the case if you are meeting everyone for the first time.
Regardless of the purpose of your business meeting, here are some phrases to keep in mind when assembling your team.
🔶Welcome phrases for participants
- Thank you all for coming.
- I appreciate everyone being here.
- First I would like to welcome you all.
- I want to thank you for being here on time.
- I want to thank everyone for coming in on such short notice.
Sometimes the participants may not have had the opportunity to meet before the meeting. Perhaps they have just joined the company and are now logged into theirsvirtual integrationsession. Let's see how to break the ice before moving on to the topic of the meeting.
🔶Phrases to introduce participants
- Can everyone introduce themselves briefly?
- I would like to introduce…
- I would like to start by introducing…
- It is my pleasure to present…
- Let's enjoy and introduce ourselves.
- Join us in welcoming...
🎯 Phrases to share the goals of a meeting
After a warm welcome, your team will probably want to know why they're being asked to plug in their webcam or leave their comfortable office chairs sitting around the conference table—perhaps even for hours.
Even if you planned the call weeks in advance or it's a regular weekly update meeting, your motives still shouldn't remain hidden.
When people are familiar with the main objectives before a meeting even starts, it helps to avoidknowing amnesiato assume. With no idea what the purpose of an event is, people may drop everything that is said as soon as the meeting is over.
Let's take a look at some useful phrases to help you make sure everyone stays on the same page.
🔶Sentences to present the objectives of the meeting
- Our goal today is…
- We are here today to decide/agree etc.
- At the end of today's meeting, we will...
- I planned this meeting so that we...
- The purpose of today's meeting is...
- Today, let's…
📄 Sentences to present the meeting agenda
When all topics are disclosed, fewer team members will check their watches impatiently, waiting for the meeting to end. People generally think of business meetings aswonderful time wasters— therefore, in addition to planning them sparingly, always remember to point out the meeting's themes and dynamics.
To prevent your colleagues from losing patience, we've compiled a list of handy phrases you can use to get the main points out of your business meeting.
🔶Phrases to share the meeting agenda
- First let's discuss…
- Then we go to...
- So let's try to cover…
- After that, let's go over…
- Next, we will consider…
- If there is enough time, we will also go through…
- Finally, we talk about…
What to say during a meeting
You've just welcomed everyone, announced the meeting's goals, and now you're done. It's okay, you have everyone's attention and the microphone is yours.
Suddenly people start to enter and talk to each other. Some of them might even turn off their cameras or start browsing through their phones.
While it may seem like your attendees' attention is completely drained, there are still ways to handle this situation. Let's look at phrases that can help you stay in control during a meeting – from expressions to discuss updates, move forward, keep the discussion on track, to phrases to get the floor to other meeting participants.
📰 Phrases to discuss updates
Sometimes you schedule a meeting so that everyone can be updated on the latest developments in a timely manner. Other times, the purpose of the meeting is simply to celebrate progress.
Even when the purpose of your meeting goes beyond pointing out company news, it is still necessary to address the current situation in your company.
The following sentences can help you keep it as short as possible.
🔶Phrases for sharing updates in a meeting
- I would like to inform everyone about the progress of the project.
- How is the project going?
- Has everyone submitted their monthly reports?
- Josh, can you tell us what's new in...?
- In relation to last month's reports, I would like to add...
- I suggest we start with Mike getting us started on…
⏭️ Sentences to move on
Perhaps you have touched on a topic that takes forever and a day to unfold and not enough time to discuss it in detail. Sometimes your team members may need a signal that it's time to move on and let go of the previous topic. Whatever the reason, when you want to suggest that you've closed the book on what's already been discussed, here are some helpful phrases to use.
🔶Phrases to move to another topic
- If no one else has anything else to share, let's move on to…
- I think that's enough. Now we can move on to our next topic.
- Let's go to our next point.
- Now that we've covered that issue, we can move on to the next one.
- The next topic we will tackle is…
- Now that we've found a solution/we're done discussing this topic, we can move on to…
👉 Phrases to keep a discussion on track
Meetings can start with small talk. Sometimes a team member will share a video of their pet's latest trick and the rest of the team will happily join in the conversation. While there is no harm in sharing an anecdote or two at the start of a meeting, when it happens in the middle of a critical discussion, there may not be enough hours in the day for the conversation to end.
Try using some of the following phrases to prevent the gossip from continuing from here to eternity.
🔶Phrases to keep the discussion on track
- Can we continue this discussion later and come back to...?
- We're getting off topic. Can we go back to...?
- Can we get back to our topic, please?
- I'm afraid we're running out of time, so can we go back to...?
- Back to the topic...
- Let's skip this topic and come back to it another time.
- We can continue to talk about this later. Now let's return to our previous topic.
If your team is still eager to chat, you can always direct them to continue the conversation#randomyour channelteamchat app.
💡If you need help preventing unnecessary conversations from getting the most out of your team's workflow, check out our blog post:How to balance work communication and chat in remote work
🎤 Phrases to pass the word on to someone else
Meetings are often more than a one-man show. Even when you are in charge of the conference flow, sometimes you need to pass the microphone to other team members.
For an uninterrupted meeting flow, consider a proper transition by letting someone else speak so you can capture your listeners' attention. This is when the following phrases can come in handy.
🔶Phrases to ask someone to speak in a meeting
- Now Carl wants to tell us more about...
- I will leave it to Mike who can share more on this topic.
- Kim is now taking over.
- I would like to hand you over to Joshua who will guide you…
- Now I'd like to introduce Sim, who will be talking about…
What to say when ending a meeting
Everything that needs to be said is already defined and you are sure that your meeting has served its purpose.
But before you rushend the callbutton or tripod, eager to get out of the meeting room, there are still some things to do. Let's go over everything you need to cover before saying goodbye to attendees—from summarizing and ending the meeting to thanking everyone for their time.
🌯 Sentences to summarize
Although quite potent, the human ability to remember all the details does not depend only on our will.Paulo Reber, professor of psychology at Northwestern University, argues that our minds simply cannot remember all the details of the events we experience because the information we deal with arrives at such a rate that our memory systems cannot keep up.
So instead of relying on people's ability to take mental notes of your speech, it's always better to summarize everything, especially when it comes to critical topics.
Here are a few phrases to help you make sure everyone has the crucial information in mind.
🔶Sentences to summarize in a meeting
- Here are some of the key points we discussed today.
- In short, we are talking about…
- I would like to touch briefly on the topics we have mentioned today.
- Before we end, let's review everything we talked about today.
- Let's quickly summarize the main points from today's meeting.
🫂 Phrases to end a meeting
After reviewing the main points of your meeting before everyone goes their separate ways, be sure to end the meeting before closing your browser window. If you're running out of ideas for what to say before ending the meeting, here are some suggestions.
🔶Phrases to end a meeting
- Finally we decided…
- That pretty much covers everything for today.
- We cover our entire agenda.
- We'll have to wrap up here, but our next meeting is scheduled for…
- If there is nothing else to discuss, we can end it here.
🙏 Thank you phrases to everyone for their presence
Sometimes some of the participants postpone their lunch breaks to attend a meeting. Most of the time, everyone is informed in advance and can plan their work days accordingly. But either way, it's rude and disrespectful of their time to end the meeting without showing appreciation for your team members' attendance. To avoid sounding disgruntled, let's go over some phrases you can use to end a meeting on a positive note.
🔶Phrases to show gratitude in a meeting
- I want to thank everyone for coming today.
- Thank you all for your time.
- Thank you for your participation in today's meeting.
- I would like to thank everyone for the productive meeting.
- I want to thank everyone for sharing their time today.
What to say if you attend a meeting
Sometimes you're not in charge and it seems like all you have to do is show up and sit down for a meeting. Although this position allows you to breathe easy, attending a meeting is about more than just being present and nodding.
You've probably been invited to join a meeting for a reason. Most of the time you will have to speak your mind or help your team members make a decision.
However, you don't need to wear yourself out in a shadow in preparation for attending a meeting. Just make sure you go through all the phrases we've put together and you'll be ready to conquer anything that comes your way.
Phrases for sharing your perspective in a meeting
It is not uncommon to want to keep your mouth shut for fear of bombarding your colleagues with useless information.too much informationit is common in a remote work environment and can pose a threat to the performance of the entire organization.
Maybe you think it's better to be safe than sorry when sharing your opinion in a meeting. When this happens, you bring the transparency of your team's communication andyour own professional growth.
To prevent fear of speaking from hindering anyone's progress, we've gathered all the necessary phrases you can use to express your thoughts in meetings. Whether you need to share your opinion, agree or disagree, give advice or clarify, we've got you covered.
🗣️ Phrases to share your opinion
If you are the only expert on the topic being discussed or would like to share your thoughts before a decision is made, it is appropriate to mince your words before speaking your mind.
We have compiled a list of useful phrases that will help you grab everyone's attention in a meeting. Just make sure to wait for the right moment to avoid interrupting the speaker and you're good to go.
🔶Phrases to share your opinion in a meeting
- I think we should try…
- From my point of view, this is…
- I think it's a good idea.
- There is no doubt that this project will succeed.
- I am sure this is the right way to go.
- The way I see things...
✅ Sentences to agree
When a suggestion comes upthe #general channelfrom the team chat app, and it doesn't take much of your time to show that you agree. If you use an emoji reaction like (🙌), (🤝) or ( ✅), your teammates will quickly conclude that you approve of their idea.
In a business meeting, however, saying yes to a proposal requires you to put your opinion into words. Here are some expressions you can use when you want to support your team.
🔶Phrases to agree on in a meeting
- I completely agree with that.
- I support your point of view.
- I'm with you on this one!
- That's how I see it too.
- Great point!
- I have to agree with Mike.
❌ Sentences to disagree with
Expressing different opinions in a business meeting does not have to turn into an ongoing battle. Fear of disagreements going wrong often causes people to avoid these conversations altogether. But express your doubts in a more positive waycan create a healthy discussionand promote better problem solving.
Don't let fear stop you from helping your team make the right decision. Think about using the following sentences.
🔶Phrases for disagreeing in a meeting
- That is a good point, but perhaps we should consider all possibilities.
- Good job figuring it out, but have you considered…?
- I understand where your idea is coming from, but maybe we should change direction a bit.
- I understand where you're coming from, but…
- I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with this because…
- While I agree with you on… have you considered…?
✋ Phrases to advise and suggest
Whether the meeting you're attending is primarily focused on solving a problem or the team meeting is a perfect chance for you to propose a new idea, proposing it in a room full of people can scare everyone away.
Whether you're making a proposal on a group call or pitching an idea in front of your colleagues, try to plan your speech ahead of the meeting. The following phrases can put you at ease when giving a presentation in a meeting.
🔶Phrases to suggest in a meeting
- I think we should try…
- Why shouldn't we…?
- Maybe we could...?
- What do you think about…?
- We would…
- And what about us...?
- Couldn't we try...?
- I suggest that...?
🔍 Phrases to clarify
Along with suggestions comes dilemma resolution. Sometimes your team members strongly agree with your ideas but need more details about your suggestions. This is where you need to dig deeper to ensure your proposals are approved.
See how you can reframe and summarize your ideas so everyone has a clear vision.
🔶Sentences to be clarified in a meeting
- Let me put it another way.
- Here is what I had in mind.
- What I am saying is that…
- My idea was…
- Just to make it clear...
- In a nutshell, what I'm saying is…
What should you say if you ask questions at a meeting?
Sometimes our employees get nervous when presenting ideas in a meeting. When this happens, it's only natural that your thoughts seem a little jumbled and disjointed. That's when a push in the right direction comes in handy and takes shapeask the right questions.
In addition to showing interest in their ideas, when you ask for more details on a topic, you show a willingness to learn, grow, and collaborate with your team members.
Sometimes you need to ask for repetition or clarification. Other times, you may want to hear your team members' opinions or ask them to provide specific information. Whatever the situation that opens a window to ask questions during a meeting, we are here to support you with many useful phrases.
❓👂 Phrases to ask for repetition
You may have a lot on your mind, so while your colleague was presenting, you were miles away. In this situation, it is always better to ask for repetition than to shoot in the dark and try to get the words right.
When you're in doubt about something that was brought up in a meeting, here's how to ask your team to come back to a topic.
🔶Phrases to ask for repetition in a meeting
- Sorry, can you repeat that please?
- Can you pass it to me one more time?
- I'm afraid I didn't quite get it. Can you say that one more time?
- I missed that. Can you say that again, please?
- Can you repeat what you just said?
- Excuse me, would you mind repeating that again?
❓🔎 Phrases to ask for clarification
If you weren't paying enough attention, or if your team member's nerves got the better of your words, it's never a bad idea to ask for more information on a topic when confusion is on the horizon.
You can never be too careful when an important decision is at stake, so a little clarification won't hurt. Let's look at some useful phrases to help you understand the direction of any discussion in a meeting.
🔶Phrases to ask for clarification in a meeting
- Sorry, I'm not sure what you intended. Can you explain a little?
- Can you go into a little more detail?
- Could you please tell me what you mean by...?
- Let me check if I understand correctly. You said it...?
- Could you be a little more specific?
- Can you elaborate on this?
❓🗣️ Phrases to ask for meaning
Not everyone likes to speak in front of a large crowd, and this trait often causes people to try to be as quiet as possible when attending a meeting. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to listen to everyone, especially when it comes to a vital issue that is relevant to several departments. This is when the following phrases can come in handy.
🔶Phrases for asking for opinion in a meeting
- Mike, would you give us your thoughts on this?
- How do you feel about this, Susie?
- What is your opinion on this matter?
- What is your opinion on...?
- Esther, can we have your opinion?
- Maggie, can we hear what you have to say about this?
❓ℹ️ Phrases to request information
Maybe your colleague ismissing in battleevery time you contact them for an important report. Seeing them in a meeting can be a perfect opportunity to request the necessary data and remember it.correctyour report to a channel in the Team Chat app so no one has to go further than looking for it.
If the fear of seeming too demanding keeps you from asking for crucial information, try using the following phrases.
🔶Phrases to ask for information in a meeting
- Would you like to give us more details about...?
- Could you please?
- Can you share... please?
- Sam, I was wondering if you could send us...?
- If possible can you share more details about...?
- When you get a chance, can you share…?
In conclusion: keep your headphones close and useful sentences closer
When an unexpected meeting pops up out of nowhere in the middle of the work week, it's quite tempting to look for ways to avoid conversations. Maybe you're thinking of turning off your headphones or turning your eyes to the floor so your team members forget you're there.
As simple as it may seem to hide your presence, keeping a list of useful phrases for business meetings close at hand can do you a greater favor than staying silent.
Just give yourself some time to practice and prepare and you are sure to give a great performance.
Research from MIT found that the words “yeah,” “give,” “start,” “meeting” and “discuss” have a larger impact than others. Using these words effectively can result in success. A data-driven approach to meeting analysis produced this list of five power words.What are 10 most important phrases in meetings? ›
- First, we will be discussing…
- After that, we will move on to…
- Then, we'll try to cover…
- Shortly after, we'll go over…
- Next, we will consider…
- If there's enough time, we will also go through…
- Finally, we will talk about…
Research from MIT found that the words “yeah,” “give,” “start,” “meeting” and “discuss” have a larger impact than others. Using these words effectively can result in success. A data-driven approach to meeting analysis produced this list of five power words.What is the appropriate greeting for a business meeting? ›
“Good morning / afternoon” “Let's begin” “I'd like to welcome everyone” “Since everyone is here, let's get started”How do you lead a business meeting in English? ›
- Set and share the agenda.
- Prepare your key points.
- Determine and communicate the purpose.
- Open the meeting.
- Model active listening skills.
- Ask targeted questions.
- Minimize off-track conversations.
- Say your point and stop talking.