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Business Meetings Skills | UCT English Language Centre

Surely you must agree that business meetings can be boring? Just think back to your last annual board meeting: Everyone was sitting around a boardroom table, an aircon was screeching in the background; blowing papers around, and then there was that one person who was doing most of the talking. I am sure that we have all been in the same boat and if you are like me, you have most certainly tried sleeping with your eyes open.

However, I probably do not need to stress the importance of meetings. It is probably the only opportunity where we as members can come together to discuss problems, share ideas and suggest solutions. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that we are on point at all times.

Here are some easy phrases from the business English classroom to memorise for your next meeting:

1. Asking for Repetition

  • I didn’t catch that. Could you repeat that, please?
  • I missed that. Could you say it again, please?
  • Could you run that by me one more time?

2. Clarifying

  • Have I made that clear?
  • Do you see what I’m getting at?
  • Let me put this another way…
  • I’d just like to repeat that…

3. Asking for Clarification

  • I’m afraid I don’t quite understand what you’re getting at.
  • Could you explain to me how that is going to work?
  • I don’t see what you mean. Could we have some more details, please?

4. Asking for Verification

  • Do you mean that…?
  • Is it true that…?

5. Asking for Spelling

  • Would you mind spelling that for me, please?

So the next time your boss asks you a question which ‘happens’ to swing past you, remember to check yourself before you wreck yourself. There is nothing worse than agreeing to something without knowing what you have actually agreed to.

Join our Business English course at the UCT English Language Centre and find out more about the use of English in a business context. For further reading on presentation skills in a business context, read our blog post here.

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