HOW TO MANAGE MEETINGS MORE EFFICIENTLY С. В. Кравченко (английский для профессиональных целей:

Кафедра иностранных языков
С. В. Кравченко
(английский для профессиональных целей:
Business English)
Учебное пособие
УДК 802.0
ББК 81.2Англ
К 77
Рекомендовано к печати Учебно-методическим советом
НИУ ВШЭ — Санкт-Петербург
Ре ц е н з е н т ы :
старший преподаватель кафедры иностранных языков НИУ ВШЭ —
Санкт-Петербург Е. О. Кузнецова
доцент кафедры англ. яз. СПБГУП, к. п. н. Н. А. Осипенкова
Кравченко, С. В. How to Manage Meetings more Efficiently
К 77 (английский для профессиональных целей: Business English) : учеб.
пособие [Текст] / С.В. Кравченко; Санкт-Петербургский филиал
Нац. исслед. ун-та «Высшая школа экономики». — СПб.: Отдел
оперативной полиграфии НИУ ВШЭ — Санкт-Петербург, 2014. —
56 стр. — 50 экз.
Настоящее учебное пособие предназначено для студентов, изучающих
аспект «Деловой английский язык».
Цель данного методического пособия заключается в обработке необходимой информации по теме: «How to manage meetings more efficiently», демонстрации функционального языка, а также закреплении теоретического материала
посредством построения ситуативных моделей и ролевых ситуаций в рамках
заданной темы.
УДК 802.0
ББК 81.2Англ
© Кравченко С.В., 2014
© Оформление. Отдел оперативной полиграфии
НИУ ВШЭ — Санкт-Петербург, 2014
Part I. Types of meetings............................................................. 4
Part II. Advantages and disadvantages of meeting...... 9
Part III. Chairing a meeting......................................................14
Part IV. Participating in a meeting........................................20
1. Agreeing and disagreeing............................................................21
2. Interrupting and preventing interruptions....................................23
3. Checking understanding.............................................................25
4. Giving and asking for an opinion................................................26
Part V. Diplomatic language....................................................29
Part VI. Self-check exercises...................................................36
Part VII. Phrase Bank....................................................................39
Part VIII. Case Study Bank...........................................................43
Part I. Types of meetings
Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Task 1
Work in pairs
Look at the cartoons and discuss the following questions:
•• What seems to be happening at each cartoon?
•• Which of these meetings do you think are the most productive?
•• Which of them remind you of the meetings you have attended to?
Task 2
Ask your partner whether he/she has ever attended a meeting. Ask for any
details (what type / when / where / other details. Was it successful?).
Part I. Types of meetings
Task 2
Business people spend quite a lot of time in meetings, and meetings
come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from formal committee meeting to
informal one-to-one meetings.
Here are some types:
•• chat (informal discussion) with colleagues at the coffee machine;
•• brainstorming among colleagues: where as many ideas as possible are
produced quickly, to be evaluated later;
•• product meeting / team meeting of employees involved in a particular
•• department / departmental meeting;
•• meeting with supplies, for example to discuss a contract;
•• board meeting: an official, formal meeting of a company’s directors;
•• annual general meeting / AGM (BrE);
•• annual meeting (AmE): where share holders discuss the company’s
annual report;
•• EGM: extraordinary general meeting: a shareholders’ meeting to
discuss an important issue such as a proposed merger.
Which type of meeting would you be most likely to hear each of these things?
— I’m pleased
to announce another good
year for shareholders of this company.
— I know this
sounds crazy, but how
about giving away 100,000 free
— Things in the
sales department are getting
out of control. We should all start
making a real effort.
— So, you think
you can provide 10,000 a month at a unit cost $ 6.90?
— Have you
heard? Suzanne is being
fired: apparently her sales figures
aren’t good enough.
a deal, then. Looking forward to working with you. I’m sure
you won’t be disappointed.
Кравченко С. В. How to Manage Meetings more Efficiently
Task 1
Whether you are holding a meeting or attending a meeting, it is important that you understand key English phrases and expressions related
to meetings.
Match the words in the box with the definitions below:
agenda proposal chairperson item
any other business (AOB) vote participants apologies
minutes action plan AGM attender
1. A list of objectives to cover in a meeting.
2. Unspecified item on agenda.
3. The person who leads or presides at a meeting.
4. A written record of everything said at a meeting;
5. Someone who is at an event such as a meeting or a course (2).
6. The expression of an opinion in a group by voice or hand etc.
7. Item on agenda announcing people who are absent.
10. What needs to be done after the meeting and who is responsible for
11. One topic on the list.
12. Annual (yearly) general meeting.
Task 2
Complete the sentences with the words from the box:
1. Daniel was a regular __________at the departmental meetings over
the whole year.
2. There is a ____________to appoint a new vice chairperson for the
3. As____________, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Mr. Allan
4. Can I have a show of hands of all of those who were ____________
in last year’s conference?
5. Before we begin with today’s meeting, let’s quickly review ______
from last month.
Part I. Types of meetings
6. The last item on the agenda is______________.
7. Please forward the _______________to anyone who is speaking at
the meeting.
8. Everyone is present today, so we can skip the _______________.
Task 3
Expansion of the words
Complete the table
— attender
— attendee
Task 4
Make collocations with nouns
vote on
move on to
a proposal
a meeting
the minutes
the item
a proposal
your apologies
the agenda
a chairperson
a proposal
Кравченко С. В. How to Manage Meetings more Efficiently
Task 5
Match the beginnings and the endings of the sentences:
1. The meeting will take
the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting?
2. We always have the
3. Paolo is ill and sends his
the final item of the meeting.
4. Did you circulate
other business?
5. How many people will be attending
the minutes?
6. Let’s move on to
AGM in June.
7. Is there any
the meeting?
8. Next time, can I ask you to take
place in the conference room.
9. Who hasn’t made
second the offer.
10. I am in favour of this proposal , so I
any proposals yet?
Task 6
How well have you memorised the collocations. Check yourself and complete the sentences with the words below:
1. Can you circulate the _____________a few days before so everyone
has time to prepare.
2. I think that everyone will be __________. No one has excused themselves yet.
3. Philip, can you take the __________ and send them out after the
4. The next _________on the agenda concerns the launch of the new
5. I won’t be able to attend so I must send my ________________.
6. If there is no other _________, then we’ll stop here.
7. It will take ___________ on 10 June in the conference room.
8. John is ___________the meeting and I am taking the minutes.
9. All the shareholders are invited to the ____________.
Part II. Advantages and disadvantages of meeting
Task 1
Work with a partner. Complete and discuss the statements below:
make find waste discuss
exchange criticize chat
Meetings are:
a) an ideal opportunity to ____________ points of view.
b) the best place to ____________ key decisions.
c) a safe environment in which to ____________ important issues.
d) a rare chance to ____________ with people from other departments.
e) the only way to ____________ out what’s really going on.
f) an open invitation to ____________ each other.
g) the perfect excuse to ____________ an entire morning.
Which is closer to the kind of meetings you have attended to?
To what extent do you agree or disagree with the statements?
Task 2
Which disadvantage has been mentioned in Task 1?
Look at the cartoons below. What kinds of problems are represented there?
Picture 1
Picture 2
Кравченко С. В. How to Manage Meetings more Efficiently
Picture 4
Picture 3
What other difficulties can cause inefficiency of meetings?
Task 2
Reading for main ideas
People tend to complain about meetings. Most frequently mentioned points
are as follows:
a) there’s no fixed agenda
b) meetings are boring
c) preparation is lacking
d) only the boss’s opinions count
e) it’s all about status
f) the follow-up is never clear
g) the venues are inappropriate
h) meetings go on too long
i) no decisions are made
j) interruption is a problem
Read participants’ ideas below and match them to the above-mentioned
Maria Lopez (Mexico City)
— It’s a joke really, this idea that everyone’s
opinion is valued. I 1) ________ to say, how
much can you disagree with the boss? After
all, she’s the boss!
Part II. Advantages and disadvantages of meeting
Poul Erik Jensen (Denmark)
— You often get several people all talking
at the same time. So no one’s really listening to anyone else. They’re just planning what they’re going to say next. It’s
the survival of the loudest.
Natalia Romanova (St.Petersburg)
— They’re usually badly-organised. Nobody sticks to the point. People get sidetracked all the time. It takes time to get
down to business. As they say: ‘if you fail to
plan, you plan to fail.
John McNab (Brighton)
— Nobody comes to the meeting properly prepared. If you want a copy of the
report, they don’t have it with them.
Need to see the figures? They’ll get back
to you. it’s hopeless!
Philipp Jersoir (Paris)
— You often leave a meeting not really knowing what you’re supposed to
do next, what the action plan is. I usually
3) ________ phoning people afterwards to
find out what we actually agreed.
Lurdos Kastanatos (Barcelona)
— You know even before who’s going to
argue with who. The facts don’t seem
to matter. It’s all about scoring points,
looking better than your colleagues and
impressing the boss.
Panaiotis Sandiotis (Athens)
— The same two or three people always
4) ________ to dominate. The rest of us just
switch off — doodle, daydreaming, count
the minutes. I sometimes play computer
games on my laptop with the sound off.
Кравченко С. В. How to Manage Meetings more Efficiently
Adrian Pall (Sydney)
I 5) ________ to stop them overrunning.
We sometimes 6) ________ holding meetings with chairs. That speeds things up
a lot! I’ve 6) ________ showing the red
cards who won’ t shut up, like in football.
Not popular!
(Modified from Clarke, S. (2007). In Company, p.135)
Reporting verbs
Complete the thoughts with the following verbs:
seem try try end up avoid mean
Look at the reporting verbs, which verb patterns follow the reporting verb
verb+ to infinitive
verb + gerund
_____________ _____________
verb + preposition + gerund verb+ infinitive or gerund
Grammar box 1
1. verb+ to infinitive
offer, promise, threaten, refuse, agree, persuade
2. verb + gerund
suggest, deny, admit, recommend, mention
3. verb + preposition + gerund
insist on, apologize for, thank for, end up,
4. verb+ infinitive or gerund
regret, remember, forget, stop, try
Exercise 1
Complete the sentences using the ideas from above-written paragraphs:
1. Adrian Pall offers…
2. Natalia Romanova recommends…
3. Maria Lopez means…
4. John McNab insists on…
Part II. Advantages and disadvantages of meeting
5. Panaiotis Sandiotis suggests…
6. Lurdos Kastanatos admits…
Grammar box 2
(Adapted from Jackson, A. (1995)
Intermediate Grammar Worksheets. Phoenix ELT, p.56)
1. Adrian Pall tried (show) the red cards to speed up the meeting.
2. The chairperson stopped the meeting (greet) a guest speaker.
3. Susan forgot (get) the report with the latest market research analysis
with her.
4. I must remember (circulate) the agenda to other participants before
the meeting.
5. Do you remember (lead) a meeting for the first time?
6. “Stop (argue)! Let everyone express his/her own opinion!”
Part III. Chairing a meeting
Task 1
Read the text and match each paragraph to the heading
How to Chair a Meeting
a) set goals and objectives
b) encourage everyone to talk
c) summarise the decisions made
and the issues addressed
d) be a good time-manager
e) explain your agenda in advance
and distribute source documents
f) identify the manner of holding
a meeting
g) provide with clear follow-ups
h) avoid conflicts
i) break the ice
You don't have to be on a stage to be a public speaker. Your platform
may be a meeting room. How you present yourself when chairing a meeting
determines whether or not you are perceived as a leader. Here are some
tips to keep in mind when it's your turn to take charge.
1. ___________________________________________________
Know why you are holding the meeting. What outcomes are you trying
to achieve? This will keep you focused and purposeful.
2. ___________________________________________________
Clarify your role as chair. How do the participants perceive you? Did
you call the meeting? Do participants report to you? If you're the boss,
people may be scared to speak their minds .If you're not the boss, what do
people expect from you as the chair?
3. ___________________________________________________
Set a positive tone early in the meeting. Greet people before you sit
down. Break the ice with some light humor to relax the group. People are
Part III. Chairing a meeting
often tentative and guarded during the first few minutes. Provide coffee if
appropriate. People bond around food and drink.
4. ___________________________________________________
Provide a written agenda on a handout or flip chart. The agenda keeps
the meeting on track. Let the group know the time frame and guidelines
for working together. “We have only forty minutes today. I will update you
on the customer service situation, and then I’d like us to brainstorm some
solutions to the challenges we face.”
5. ___________________________________________________
Start on time. Don’t wait for stragglers. If you begin and end on time,
you’ll condition people to be prompt.
6. ___________________________________________________
Create interest with an enticing title. Instead of a management topic
about “Business Etiquette” title it “What’s Rudeness Costing You?” Appoint a person to take minutes so that you can later review discussions that
took place and the decisions that were made. Manage the group dynamics.
Don’t let one person dominate. Ask for other opinions. If some people are
silent, draw them out by asking for their thoughts.
7. ___________________________________________________
Handle conflicts impartially. Encourage cooperation by clarifying what
people have said and then asking the participants to propose solutions.
Heated arguments may require a timeout in which group members take
a short break and return when they’ve cooled off.
Assign a timekeeper if time is a major constraint.
8. ___________________________________________________
Give a short summary or recap before going on to the next area. Be sure
people understand what the group has agreed to.
9. ___________________________________________________
End with an action step... Meetings fail because people aren’t held
accountable. Summarize the action steps the group members are to take
and attach a time frame to each action. The only way to get commitment
is to assign a deadline.
Кравченко С. В. How to Manage Meetings more Efficiently
By following these tips you’ll run more effective meetings and gain
respect as a confident leader.
(Adapted from
Task 2
Read the text again and complete the following chart
What are the roles of a chairman?
Chairing a meeting effectively, efficiently, with purpose and respect for
others, requires a careful approach to preparation, a particular set of skills
in conducting meetings and a professional attitude to ensuring effective
follow-through. Some people have the appropriate skills, whilst others will
need to work hard to develop the role of Chair. Everyone, no matter how
experienced, can always improve his or her effectiveness.
Task 1
Read the following mini-situations and brainstorm with any phrases appropriated.
Discuss your ideas with your partner and choose the best alternative.
a) The chair asks a participant to start the discussion.
b) The chair checks if everyone has been circulated the agenda.
c) The chair explains the purpose of the meeting.
d) The chair explains the format of the meeting.
e) The chair asks for suggestions /ideas /opinions.
f) The chair keeps everyone on topic.
g) The chair opens the meeting.
h) The chair builds consensus.
i) The chair calls for a vote.
j) The chair suggests moving on to the next point on the agenda. / The
chair introduces the next item on the agenda.
k) The chair checks if there is any other business.
Part III. Chairing a meeting
l) The chair brings the meeting to a close.
m) The chair thanks for being resourceful.
n) The chair gives apologies of someone who is absent.
o) The chair reads the minutes from the previous meeting.
Task 2
Match the following phrases to the situations above:
1. I’ve arranged this meeting to…
2. Would you like to get the ball rolling?
3. If there are no further developments, I’d like to move on to today’s
4. To begin with, I’d like to quickly go through the minutes of our last
5. Is there Any Other Business?
6. Have you all received a copy of agenda?
7. I have received apologies for absence from…
8. If we are here, let’s get down to business…
9. Can we have a show of hands?
10. What are your views on this?
11. Thanks for your contributions…
12. We are going to start by…
13. Can I suggest a compromise…
14. I don’t thing it is relevant here.
15. I think we should leave this for now.
Task 3
Rearrange the lines
started. You’ve all had the agenda so you know that I called
this meeting to talk about the proposed changes to our staffing
the changes. So, Sally, if you’ like to get the ball
you for your reactions and how you think it will effect your
departments. I suggest that we take a quick coffee
Is everybody