V. Match the expressions a-j below to the following things that a chairperson should do.

1 open the meeting/ signal the start

2 keep things moving

3 keep an eye on time

4 make sure everyone stays focused

5 invite contributions

6 summarize regularly

7 seek clarification

8 summarize agreed action points

9 allocate action points and establish deadlines

10 close the meeting


a Has everyone got that?

b Shall we move on?

c As 1 see it, we seem to be saying

d Could you let us have the exact figures for Friday?

e What exactly do you mean?

f So what we've finally decided on is...

g We'll have to move on I'm afraid.

h Thanks for coming everyone.

1 What do you think of that, Mr...?

j Thanks very much everyone, that was very useful.

VI. Match the expressions a-1 below to the following things that participants should do.

1. express agreement

2. express disagreement

3. make suggestions

4. summarize arguments

5. ask for clarification

6. present arguments


a I'm convinced that...

b How about...

c I'm all in favour of that.

d Why don't we...

e I'm afraid I don't accept that at all.

f So what you are suggesting is...

g Could you explain that in more detail?

h I'm sorry but I don't agree at all.

i I quite agree.

j The way I see it is...

k Am I right in thinking that...?

1 In other words you are saying...

VII. Read the mini – definition and write the words.

1 To be present at a meeting.

2 This should be circulated before the meeting.

3 The person who presides over a meeting

4 You write these up after the meeting.

5 To suggest a lot of ideas very quickly and at random.

6 Are there any other matters to discuss?

VIII. Complete the extract from a meeting with the expressions below.

Sort out this mess, set a time limit, to business, cancel our regional sales conference, lose $ 25.000, take the minutes.


MIKE Well, let’s get down1 to business. I thing our objective is pretty clear. We’re here today to 2 __________. We have to decide what we’re going to do about the problems with our travel booking.
PATTI Sorry, Mike. What problems?
MIKE It looks like we’re going to have to 3 ______________ and on top of that we’re going to 4 ___________ or more. Now, I've another meeting at three, so I'd like to 5______________..................... Is that OK?
BILL Is anyone writing all this down?
MIKE Um, no. Harriet, can you 6 __________please?

IX. Work in small groups. Which of these things do you expect at a formal meeting and which at an informal meeting?

an agenda, matters arising, coffee, a chairperson, an objective, a time limit, minutes, any other business, briefing documents.

X. Read the conversation. Tick the items from the list above which they mention. Do you think that this is a formal or an informal meeting?


Formal and informal meetings

HARRIET Right. Are we all here? Good, well, let's get down to business. I think our objective is pretty clear. We're here today to sort out this mess. We have to decide what we're going to do about the problems with our travel bookings. 1 don't know... it's, well... it's chaos.
PATTI Sorry, Harriet. What do you mean by that?
HARRIET What do I mean? Patti, I mean it looks like we're going to have to cancel our regional sales conference and, on top of that, we're going to lose $25,000 or more.
PATTI It's not chaos, Harriet, it's a problem. OK?
HARRIET OK, it's a problem. And we're here today to solve it. Now I've got another meeting at three, so I'm going to have to set a time limit of, say, 2.45. Is that OK with everybody?
BRIAN Can I say something here?
BRIAN Is someone taking minutes?
HARRIET Minutes. Yes. Thanks, Brian... Mike, can you take the minutes?
MIKE I am already.
HARRIET Brilliant. Thank you. Right. Before we start, are the ready questions? Mike?
MIKE Yes, I'm sorry, Harriet, can you repeat what you said about the money?
HARRIET I said... I said we're going to lose $25,000, which is true …..

XI.Here are six phrases from the conversation above. Write them in the correct lines.

1.What do you mean by that? 4. Are there any question?

2. We’re here today to sort out this mess. 5. Can I say something here?

3. Let’s get down to business. 6. Can you repeat what you said

about the money?


To signal the start____________________________________________________

To introduce the objective ____________________________________________

To ask for questions _________________________________________________

To ask for clarification _______________________________________________

To ask for repetition _________________________________________________

To interrupt _______________________________________________________

XII. Read the conversation again and answer these questions.

1. What do they have to decide at the meeting?

2. What’s the time limit for the meeting?

3. How much money are they going to lose?

4. Who is taking minutes?

XIII. Read the second part of a conversation and answer these questions.

1. What is the company’s problem? 2. What three suggestions are made to solve the problem? 3.Who do you think has the strongest opinion? 4.Which of these phrases does this person use to introduce his/her opinion? 5. When you’re giving an opinion, which do you think is more important – the words you choose or the way you choose to say them?


Have you thought about …? Why don’t you …? I think you should …


A discussion

HARRIET Right, let's move on to the next point, shall we? Violence in the workplace, I'm afraid. Again.
BRIAN Disgrace.
HARRIET It's the third assault on a member of our staff this year. I don't know what we're going to do. Has anyone got any ideas?
PATTI Well, for a start, why don't you have a clear company policy on violence? That way, at least our people will know where they stand - if they're ever threatened.
HARRIET Thanks, Patti. Yes. Good point. I... um...
MIKE Can I say something here?
HARRIET Yes, Mike. What do you think?
MIKE Have you thought about these training courses?
BRIAN Training courses?
MIKE Yes. They're courses where you learn to see the danger signs, to... well, to try to stay in control of the situation.
HARRIET Hmm. I’ll look into it.
BRIAN I... er...
HARRIET Yes. Sorry, Brian, what's your view?
BRIAN Well, it's quite simple. I think you should just tell people to use their common sense
HARRIET Well, thanks…

XIV. Work in small groups and have a series of short meetings. Take turns to be chairperson.

The chairperson should choose the subject of the meeting and decide on things like a time limit, agenda, minutes, etc. At the beginning of each meeting he or she should do the following:

1. Signal the start.

2. Introduce the objective.

3. Mention issues such as agenda, time limit as appropriate.

4. Ask for questions.

Others in the group should interrupt, ask for clarification, repetition, etc. as appropriate.


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