How to smoothly start a meeting (when you’re in charge)

By 18 February 2019 Video lessons 7 Comments
how to start a meeting

Hi there! I’m your English coach Christina, welcome to Speak English with Christina, where you’ll learn American culture and business know-how to become confident in English.

Meetings are an important part of a business process. But you need to run them well! You might want some help with your English to get them started smoothly, and feel confident about being in charge, so here are the exact sentences your colleagues are used to hearing at the start of a meeting.

Let’s go!

Start With a Quick Introduction

Open a meeting or a conference call by greeting everyone, and introducing yourself.

Hello everybody, and thanks for joining. I’m Michelle Carter, project manager at Antiveo, and I’ll be chairing the meeting today.

Of course, being a chair here means that you’re the person in charge of conducting the meeting, not a piece of furniture.

Now you can announce the subject of the meeting. Add its duration as well!

Today, we’re going to talk about our new software integration. The meeting should last around an hour.

Finally, you can let the participants introduce themselves.

Before we begin, let’s go around and introduce ourselves. Bill, would you like to start ?

Setting up a Smooth Meeting

After the introductions, you can take a moment to set up a smooth meeting.

Make sure that someone is taking minutes – that means, writing down what’s being said. For instance, you can ask :
– Emily, could you take the minutes today and send them to everyone after the meeting, please?

Another Tip: You should also make sure to establish the rules clearly.

For example:
Before we begin, remember to say your name before you speak. And let’s avoid cutting anyone off when a person speak, so we can all give our full input.

Finally, you can check on the participants’ preparation. Like:
Has everyone read the minutes of the last meeting? Are there any questions about them?

Start the Actual Meeting

Now it’s time to begin the actual meeting.

It starts by presenting the agenda. A meeting without an agenda is going to feel purposeless, and in the worst case it will waste everyone’s time. So be sure to have clear goals and points to discuss, and don’t stray from that plan.

We have several things to cover today, and limited time. Let’s start with the first item on today’s agenda.

And now you can begin your presentation!
OK. As you know, we did some tests on the software, but we had some problems. For instance, we…

And your meeting is off to a great start!
So, to recap:

– Start your meeting by greeting everyone, introducing yourself and the participants.
– Set up clear rules, an end time, and the topic of the meeting.
– Be sure someone is taking notes, and follow the agenda.

Your turn, now!

Tell me: What are your own tips to conduct a smooth meeting?

Write your answer down in the comments!  It’s a great way to practice, and share with the world!

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Thanks for watching Speak English with Christina, and I’ll see you next time!

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