Everyone likes a bit of a chat at the beginning of a meeting, but when it’s time to get started, use these key phrases:
To get the ball rolling
Definition: To get the meeting or discussion started.
Example: “OK, everyone. Let’s get the ball rolling. Come and sit down and we’ll start the meeting.”
To open with
Definition: To begin by talking about a certain topic.
Example: “Let’s open with a summary of what each of you has achieved this week.”
To hand over to
Definition: To introduce another speaker.
Example: “I’d like to hand over to Dave to explain our plans for the next quarter.”
On the agenda
Definition: Something on the plan to be discussed.
Example: “Today, the first item on the agenda is to decide on a new supplier.”
To get down to business
Definition: To talk about the most important issues.
Example: “It’s time to get down to business. How much will this cost and how much time will it save me?”
To kick off
Definition: To get started.
Example: “Let’s kick off by reviewing the results of our last campaign.”
To take the minutes
Definition: To take notes on everything that was said and agreed on in that meeting.
Example: “It’s my turn to take the minutes, so please let me know if there’s anything special you want me to make a note of.”
To help remember these phrases, try writing an introduction to a meeting using all of them. Imagine you are in a weekly meeting with your colleagues. How many of these expressions could you use?
In this blog post we’ve already considered how to get business meetings started, but what about when we need them to end? Meetings can’t go on forever so it’s important to have a way to bring them to a conclusion. Here are some phrases to help you finish your meetings on time.
To wrap up
This is a common way to end a meeting and means to bring something to an end, often with a short summary. ‘Wrap up’ is quite an informal phrase, but it’s fine to use in office situations.
E.g. “It’s 1pm so let’s wrap up this meeting and I’ll see you all again next week.”
To sum up
This literally means ‘to summarise’ but sounds more natural in spoken English. Use this expression if you want to summarise the main points of the meeting.
E.g. “Let’s sum up – we can deliver the goods you need on Thursday and you will pay in installments over the next 6 weeks.”
This is useful if you want to remind the attendees of any points you have covered in the current or previous meeting.
E.g. “So, to recap, when were those items due?”
NOTE: we can also use this as a noun.
E.g. “Can you give me a recap of the points we covered last week?”
Action points / next actions
These are the things that the attendees should do after the meeting, and are usually written in the minutes of the meeting.
We usually use the verb ‘to set’ when talking about action points or next actions.
E.g. “Let’s set some action points. Sam, can you make sure the payments have come through? Sally, can you make sure the goods are ready for delivery?”
To look forward to / to be looking forward to
We use this expression to talk about things in the future that we are excited about. It’s a nice expression to show you are interested in working with someone. We usually follow it with a gerund (+ing).
E.g. “I’m looking forward to working with you on this project.”