English has become the language of global commerce, the lingua franca of business meetings worldwide.
Leading a business meeting in English can be a difficult task especially for non-native speakers or for those who aren’t used to speaking English daily. So, how do you deal with it? Cafe Converse, Delhi’s top spoken English institute for Business English shares 10 effective strategies.
Prepare Ahead: It’s important to understand the purpose of the meeting, the agenda, and desired outcomes. When you do your research in advance, you will be able to ensure that all relevant points are covered in a structured manner. You also get time to practice and hone your English skills before the meeting. Learn some key English phrases used in business meetings. For instance, “We are here today to discuss the plans for the upcoming project.”
Greetings: By greeting everyone in the room, you demonstrate confidence and leadership. It also sets the tone of the meeting and helps to create a friendly environment where people can feel comfortable speaking. For instance, you could say “Good morning everyone, it’s great to see you all here” or “It’s lovely to have you all here, let’s get started”.
Speak slowly and clearly: This will help non-native speakers understand you better. It allows you to be conscious of your pronunciation and enunciation which will make you sound more confident and articulate.
Use simple language: Avoid using complex vocabulary and phrases that may be difficult for non-native speakers to understand. Keep your language simple and straightforward.
Use visuals: Visuals will make your points clear and easier to understand. Use slides, diagrams, and other visuals to explain your ideas.
Review Minutes of Last Meeting: Before starting the meeting, it is important to review the minutes of the last meeting to get a better understanding of the decisions taken and the tasks to be completed. This will give the speaker a good overview of the topics to be discussed, and it will also help them to structure their thoughts and ideas. You may say, ‘Let’s go over the decisions taken in the last meeting’, or ‘Let’s refresh our memory on what we discussed last time’.
Be an attentive listener: Being an attentive listener is key to leading a successful business meeting in English. It allows you to better understand the discussion and respond more appropriately. It shows that you value others’ opinions, which can build trust and respect among the participants. For instance, you can say, “That’s an interesting point. I’d like to hear more about it.” to demonstrate that you’re actively listening.
Stay on track: Keeping the conversation on track is the key. During the meeting, stay focused on the agenda and make sure it doesn’t go off-topic. If a topic arises that is not on the agenda, suggest that it be discussed at a later time.
Time management: Time management is essential for a successful meeting. It is imperative to ensure that all participants have an opportunity to speak and that the allotted time is evenly distributed between participants.
Follow up: After the meeting, make sure to follow up with participants and send out a summary of the meeting. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the discussions have been effective.
Whether you’re a CEO, a manager, an entrepreneur, or an employee, mastering English is essential for your success in the world of business.
So, brush up on your English skills, and let’s get down to business!
Ms Sonu Goel is a professionally acclaimed certified ESL trainer from British Council having 15 years of strong background for teaching English language in both online and physical classes. She is dedicated to the teaching of English in an interactive and practical way, whereby learners feel enriched with knowledge and experience the language hands-on. She uses creative ideas and aids to let the learning happen as organically and efficiently as possible. Ms Goel has travelled various European countries and experienced an array of cultures and linguistic skills for the English language.