How to start a business meeting in English?

How to start a business meeting in English?

Starting a business meeting in English

Face-to-face communication is important in the world of business. You cannot have win-win relationships with business partners or negotiate successful deals without business meetings. It for these reasons that in the world of business holding meetings are essential. Being able to hold meetings in English is one of the most crucial skills of business English. Running successful meetings and, most importantly, starting them smoothly will make you feel confident.

In the following sections, we have summarized some expressions you will need to make a great impression and communicate effectively in your next international business meeting.

How to start a business meeting in English?

Main steps in starting a meeting

  1. Greeting and welcoming participants.
  2. Introducing yourself.
  3. Introducing participants.
  4. Starting the meeting by stating the objective and introducing the agenda.
  5. Asking someone to take minutes (i.e., notes about what has been said.)
  6. Setting the rules so that the meeting may smoothly take place.
  7. Suggesting to change the order of the items on the agenda.
  8. Moving to the next item.

Greeting, welcoming participants, and introducing yourself

  • Good morning/afternoon...
  • Hi everybody, thanks for joining. I am [NAME]. and I'll be chairing the meeting today.
  • I'd like to thank everyone for coming today. I am [NAME].
  • I'd like to introduce myself...
  • I'm [NAME]. I'll keep this meeting brief as I know you’re all busy people.
  • 'I’d like to welcome everyone...
  • Please join me in welcoming...
  • It's a pleasure to welcome [NAME].
  • I'd like to introduce [NAME].
  • Have you already met [NAME]?

Asking others to introduce themselves

  • Before we begin, let's go around the table and introduce ourselves.
  • Would you like to start [NAME]?
  • Let's introduce ourselves quickly - please state your name, job title, and why you are here.

Starting the meeting

  • Since everyone is here, let's get started
  • Let's begin, shall we?
  • Shall we make a start?
  • It's time to get started, guys.
  • Let's make a start, guys.
  • Let's get the ball rolling.
  • Let's get down to business everyone.

Stating the objectives 

  • Today we are going to talk about [TOPIC OF THE MEETING].  The meeting should last around an hour
  • I'm [NAME] and I arranged this meeting because... 

Introducing the agenda

  • We have different things to cover today and we have unfortunately limited time.
  • Have you all received a copy of the agenda?
  • There are [NUMBER OF ITEMS ON THE AGENDA] items on the agenda: First [ITEM 1], second [ITEM 2],  third [ITEM 3],  lastly [ITEM 4].
  • Let’s start with the first item on the agenda. 

Reminding the participants of the minutes (i.e., the notes) of the last meeting

  • I'd like to go over the minutes from the last meeting which took place on [DATE].
  • Let me read the minutes from our last meeting, which took place on [DATE].
  • Before we start, let's go over the minutes from our last meeting which was held on [DATE].

Asking someone to take minutes (writing down what’s been said)

  • [Name], could you take the minutes today and send them to everyone after the meeting?
  • [Name], I wonder if you could take the minutes today.
  • [Name], Could you possibly take the minutes today?

Setting ground rules in a meeting

  • Please, avoid cutting off anyone speaking.
  • Please, wait your turn until a person finishes speaking.
  • No side discussions are allowed.
  • Be as brief as possible and focus on facts, not opinions.
  • Please, be non-judgmental and keep an open mind on issues until it is time to decide.

Suggesting to change the order of the items in the agenda

  • What do you think? Shall we take the points in this order?
  • If you don't mind, I'd like to start with the last point.
  • I suggest we should skip point 1 and move on to the next point.
  • I think we should take point number 3 first.
  • I have a suggestion. Why don't we start with point number 2?

Introducing the next item

  • It's high time we moved to the next item on the agenda.
  • Why don't we move to the next item?
  • Let's move to the next item  
  • I think we should move to the next item.
  • Can we move to the next item?
  • I suggest we should go on. 
  • The next item on our list is...

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