Talaera Talks - Business English Communication

44. Opening a Meeting Effectively - Talaera Bits

April 19, 2022 Talaera Business English Communications Training Episode 44
Talaera Talks - Business English Communication
44. Opening a Meeting Effectively - Talaera Bits
Show Notes Transcript

Simon shows us what to say to start a meeting. Opening a meeting effectively helps you set the tone, introduce the main topic, set expectations, and make a good first impression. Read all the episode notes and transcript: https://blog.talaera.com/opening-meeting

Welcome to Talaera Talks, the business English communication podcast for non-native professionals. My name is Paola and I am co-hosting this show with Simon.
In this podcast, we're going to be covering communication advice and tips to help express yourself with confidence in English in professional settings. So we hope you enjoy the show.!

Welcome back to another episode of Talaera Talks. This is your host, Simon, coming to you from Copenhagen, Denmark. I hope wherever you are, you're having a great day and tuning into this Talaera Bit. So let's get started. What are we talking about today? One of those kind of transition things that you need to do can be a little bit awkward. How do you do it when we're opening a meeting? What are the steps to take to do it in a professional way to do it in a way where you make sure that everybody is comfortable and on the right track that you're going to get the meeting going and in an organized way? So if you are very smart, you will do a little bit of preparation beforehand. So whether you're meeting in person, or whether you're meeting online, it may be a good idea to send out an agenda, possibly a week in advance with a few of the major points that you'd like to cover during the meeting. So this could involve Yeah, the objectives of the meeting, it could also involve some questions that you would like people to start thinking over with some key kind of homework and takeaway that they should be considering.

So you get to the day of the meeting. And a lot of times, you want to allow maybe 5-6-7 minutes of some small talk, let people kind of get into the feel of the meeting, get to get to see each other get to discuss and chat a little bit. And then when it gets to a reasonable pause, you can start the meeting. And the first thing you want to do is thank everyone for joining. So you could say something like, 'Okay, we're all here, I see we're all set and ready to go. Thank you for taking the time to meet today', or 'thank you for joining'.

And then if you do have points from the previous meeting, you can use that time to follow up and just say okay, 'so in our previous meeting, we discussed points A, B, and C. And we decided on points one, two, and three'. From there, you want to provide the context of why are we meeting today. Now, if they're good attendees, they may have read the prep work that you sent beforehand. But it's always good to just provide some context. So you can say something like, 'Okay, before we dive into the meeting, today, I'd like to set some context for the topic that we'll be discussing'. Or you could say, 'well, over the past week or so our team has been discussing this point. And we felt that it was a great opportunity to get everybody together and really discuss it in depth'. So you're providing that reason for why people are meeting that's very important.

Then from there, you want to set the objective. Why? Why are we meeting today? What what is what is the goal? What are we trying to get out of the meeting today? What expectations are we setting? So you could say something like and being very clear, 'The goal of our meeting today is to identify what steps we can take to more effectively utilize the marketing budget. So we've gathered you all here today to brainstorm some ideas and we're hoping that by the end of today, we'll have a few action items that can get us to the next place or where we want to be'. So what I did there was I just set some very clear objectives that by the end of our meeting today, we want to have action items, which is a great way to say we want to have actionable items, things that we need to do that are using verbs that we're going to have done before our next meeting.

Now, when setting expectations, you could also say 'we're all here today to review the points that I sent out last week in the prep material that I sent out'. And you want to make sure that the objective isn't too big to where it's going to be something that's not realistic for the meeting. You want to make sure that it's realistic.

And then the last step is to provide a roadmap for the meeting. So you could say something like, 'I'd like to start by answering any questions that you may have about the budget and any clarity that I can provide around that. And then I think it would be really helpful to open up the discussion to any ideas that the team may have based on the points that I sent last week. From there, after we've identified a few action items. I like for us to kind of split up the tasks to make sure that before the next meeting, we're all set on what we need to accomplish'. So there, I gave a very clear roadmap of what we'll be doing throughout the meeting. And of course, if it makes sense to put some time markers on it, you can do that. So you could say, 'I'd like to start the meeting by answering any questions for about five to 10 minutes. Hopefully, that can you provide some clarity. And then from there, I think it'd be helpful to have about 15-20 minutes of open discussion and brainstorm on any of the ideas that our team may have. I want to make sure that we leave about Yeah, five to seven minutes at the end so that we're all very clear on what the next action items are before our next meeting'.

So what did we do today? We made sure to identify some preparation material we can send before the meeting, we allowed for some small talk, we thanked everyone for joining, followed up on the last meetings points. We made sure to provide context, which is the why we are meeting, we set very clear objectives or goals for what we want to accomplish. And then we made sure to provide a roadmap of all the different points throughout the meeting that we'll be covering. So opening the meeting, it sounds like there's several steps, but really, it's one of those things that once you try it a few times it will come very naturally. So check it out. Try it a few times, use the notes. And as always, keep learning.

Outro 7:33 
And that's all we have for you today. We hope you enjoyed it. And remember to subscribe to Talaera Talks. We'll be back soon with more. And visit our website at talaera.com for more valuable content on business English. You can also request a free consultation on the best ways for you and your team to improve your communication skills. So have a great day and keep learning!