Learn New English Vocabulary For Business Meetings



Good day amigos y amigas, do you know how to run meetings in English? Check out today’s episode to learn some new vocabulary related to office meetings. Enjoy :)


Good morning, good day and good evening my dear listeners, you are listening to the English Made Simple show, this is episode 1-1-0 or double one zero or number one hundred and ten, numero ciento diez, wow that was a mouthful to say….

Welcome to the English Made Simple show, my name is Milena from www.englishmadesimple.net, englishamdesimple.net.

Thank you for joining me in today’s episode, I hope you are doing well.

Ahem ahem. Hang on a sec, I have to say this again, and I will rephrase it and make it more appropriate for today’s topic.

It’s an absolute pleasure to have you join me today, welcome again.

I hope you have recovered from the content we learned in the last few episodes, and now you are well and truly ready to start learning something new today. Bravo!

As some of you may know, our aim this month, our goal is to learn some business vocabulary. I might even extend this for another week, actually. Let’s see how we go.

Okay (funny voice)… oh that’s right no funny business now, I have to keep a serious face.

Right, let’s begin amigos. Enough of this gibberish!

I know that there are a lot of listeners out there who are currently working and need to use English for work (for work purposes), today’s episode will be quite helpful to you.

In fact, even if you happen to have your own business, if you are a business owner (propietario o dueño de un negocio), today’s episode will be of benefit to you as well.

Today’s episode will help you with expanding your vocabulary in area of Business English. Organising and running meetings more specifically.

Today we are going to learn how to organise, run and attend meetings (participar o asistir a in Spanish). We are going to learn some more useful phrases.

Just being able to make, change and cancel appointments or book meetings is a skill in itself, and a very important one if I may add.

And I am going to touch on this briefly in today’s episode, I will share a couple of examples closer to the end. So stick around.

As a matter of fact, this is a broad topic, talking about meetings, organising, attending, participating in the meetings, planning future meetings or presenting at meetings, either one of these, really, is a huge topic, and there is so much to learn in each of those areas.

So, having said that, what I would like to do today is just focus on the basic stuff, basic vocabulary – general stuff. You know what I mean.

I don’t want your brains to explode from TMI.

TMI is an acronym and it stands for Too Much Information.

Cool, now let’s proceed.

Why do we have meetings in the first place?

Just between you and me (and the whole world), some meetings can be a good use of your time but most of the time they are a waste of your time.

And, we’ve all been to those meetings before I am sure! You know what I am talking about.

So, the main purpose of having meetings in the workplace is to communicate with other employees, share information, solve problems, improve performance, build teamwork and track progress of various projects.

They can either be formal or informal meetings. Depending on your team and the office culture I guess. When I worked at Vodafone in New Zealand, it’s a huge telecommunication company, it’s very big in New Zealand, most of the meetings I had were informal. We would have meetings in the kitchen or lounge area. It was a cool place to work. So it doesn’t have to be formal every time.

Who can be present at the meeting? If you deal with external parties, your suppliers and vendors can be present at meetings, your business partners and your clients as well. So it’s not just you and your team.

First of all, what kind of meetings exist out there. What are some typical meetings you would get invited to when working for a company?

Interesting question! For example:

There are meetings like the staff meetings or team meetings. These are regular meetings, they could be weekly or fortnightly or monthly, depending on your team. Fortnightly is an interesting word!

That’s the word the word that describes the frequency of something happening every 2 weeks. Also known as bi-weekly, in Australian and British English we say fortnightly to mean every 2 weeks.

You could also have project meetings, sales conferences, emergency meetings, customer meetings, management meetings (where all the managers come together to share information on productivity, strategy and management practices in general), you could have one on one meetings with your boss/manager for example to discuss your job performance.

All of these meetings will have to be organised by someone, the meetings will have a specific agenda, someone will be taking notes at the meeting, and this is called – minutes of the meeting or in Spanish minutas de reunión.

And after the meeting, the minutes will be sent to all the participants of that meeting.

Some people enjoy taking minutes, me on the other hand not so much, actually I really dislike it. Really hate it. I am not good at taking notes.

When I handwrite my notes I never look over them again. To handwrite means escribir a mano.
I forget about them completely.

I prefer to type (o tipiar) when I take notes so I take my laptop to the meeting. We learnt what laptop was in Spanish in episode #105 or 106, I better check that….106! I said it was notebook in Spanish, but there is another word for laptop as pointed out by one of my listeners David from Spain. In Spain they call it ordenador.
Cool! Thanks for this David.

So, the minutes of the meeting are simply notes taken during the meeting to remind you what was discussed and agreed.

The minutes will contain something called Action Items.

Action Items raised during the meeting need to be clearly documented (whoever is taking notes) as people have a tendency to forget things. As is the case with me, I forget things. Action items serve as a reminder for individuals or teams who were participants of the meeting, to accomplish certain tasks by a certain date which were discussed in the meeting.

An example of an action item would be, something like: John needs to deliver the report by Friday and send it to everyone in the meeting.

That’s one action!

Are you still with me amigos? Are we getting all of this? Me estan entendiendo?

Are you following me so far amigos? This is such a rrrriveting topic. Really exciting and compelling topic, that’s what riveting means. Let’s continue.

We have now covered some basic yet boring bits, but very important to remember if you are having meetings in English.

I’ve only scratched the surface here, but there is a lot more to learn about meetings, if you have a specific question to ask me regarding this topic, please let me know. I would love to know your feedback on this topic as well.

Before I proceed, let me tell you what scratch the surface phrase means.

And for this, I will invite Weon Inteligente to this meeting, he will explain what this means.

According to Weon Inteligente or the online dictionary, to scratch the surface means to only deal with a small part of a subject or a topic, just to cover the basic stuff.
Alrighty thanks Weon.

So what I said earlier was: I’ve only scratched the surface here, but there is a lot more to learn about meetings.

And now allow me to give you examples of how to book, change and cancel meetings because that’s a skill in itself.

I will share some useful phrases with you so you can learn.

BTW, we say to make an appointment or book an appointment or make a booking, make a reservation.

The word “Booking” is a noun meaning appointment or a reservation. To book is a regular verb, meaning to schedule (o agendar). The past tense of book is booked. Pronounced book(t) not book-ed.

But we say to organise a meeting or book a meeting. We don’t say make a meeting. English is a funny language, and I don’t mean funny ha-ha. It’s a strange language.

To make the meeting has a completely different meaning btw. You can use it when you cancel the meeting, for example: I’m afraid I can’t make it to the meeting. I can’t make the meeting. I won’t be able to get there, I have to cancel it. Sorry.

Ok, I kind of started in reverse here with my examples. I already shared with you how to cancel the meeting. But we didn’t even start organising one!

How do we organise an office meeting?

You will be using tools like Microsoft Outlook to schedule a meeting and invite your colleagues.
It will be in the form of an email usually.

Let’s pretend you are organising a meeting between you and another colleague of yours.

Here is a random example.

Hi John, I would like to organise a meeting to discuss the current trends in the market. I believe this will greatly impact our EMS Cool Bananas project.

Please advise if this time is suitable for you.

Thank you, and then you sign, Milena. Sign your name.

You will notice how we don’t say Dear John, when we are writing emails – I was writing an email there by the way – I didn’t say Dear John, I said hi John – because I’ve met my colleague before I can simply say Hi John in the email.

We use Dear John when we haven’t met the person before, ok?

So what if John replies to say that the time doesn’t suit him. He would say something like this:

Unfortunately, I will be out of the office Wednesday through to Friday, but I will be available early next week.

Would you be free to meet early next week?

Thanks, John.

(John sounds like a girl haha, has the same voice as Milena. Muy interesante)

And then I reply with:

Thank you for your reply John. Yes, that’s perfect.
I will send you an invite for Monday next week.

Kind Regards

I hate Monday meetings, especially early Monday morning meetings, I hate them.

Done, hope that was enough for today amigos. I am sure your brains will be overheating by now.
TMI – too much information. Information overload.

Remember that acronym, it will come in handy one day.

I will share some more expressions with you in our next Short and Sweet episode, which will be episode 111. If you’ve found today’s episode helpful, please let me know, I could prepare more shows such as this one. Also, share it with your friends, ok!

Before we wrap up guys, let me send a special hello to Eduardo Gacitúa from Chile who is travelling the world at the moment with his wife – how lucky! Eduardo is self-taught in English, learnt English all by himself and is now listening to the EMS show to refresh his memory. Thanks for sharing your story with me Eduardo, and all the best in your travels amigo and keep listening!

Thanks everyone for tuning in to today’s show of the English Made Simple Podcast, you’ve been jamming with Milena until next time, hasta la proxima!

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