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Cafetalk Tutor's Column

Tutor Suja 's Column

Communicating at Meetings

Jun 5, 2017

A weekly team meeting:

Richard (Meeting Chairman): I’ve called this meeting to keep track of our progress on the training project for staff. I'd like to keep this meeting to fifteen minutes as I have another meeting starting soon. So, Sue and Emily, could you both run me through the main points of your last discussion with the team?


Emily: Yes, we spoke to staff and found that they were unclear about assessment design and the skills development framework. So, we think these two issues could also be included in the training package. We’ll also need to revise the original training proposal slightly to incorporate the concerns raised.


Richard (Meeting Chairman): Ok Emily, so just to recap….the training proposal isn’t quite ready yet and would still need to be fine-tuned?


Emily: That’s correct. We should have it ready by next week.


Sue: Further to Emily’s update, I feel that we should probably recruit another trainer to help us run this 2-week training program. Do you think that we could incorporate this into the training budget?


Richard (Meeting chair): Alright, I will need to have a word with Human Resources on that and will get back to you both. So just to recap… So, the training plan should be ready for me to take a look next week and I’ll arrange a meeting with HR to revisit our training budget for an additional trainer. I’ll keep you both posted on the outcome.


When was the last time you had participated at a work meeting?

How much of it did you understand?

How much did you speak?

It is just as important to be able to listen actively, as much as it is to be able to communicate effectively with our peers, superiors and subordinates.

Have a read through the dialogue above. Perhaps you could roleplay this out with another team member. Here are some meanings to some of the phrases used at the meeting:


Giving and asking for opinions

The following phrases could be used when giving and asking for opinions

I feel that…..” – This could be used when asking for opinions

Do you think that….” – This could be used to give an opinion



Other phrases used at meetings

to keep track of” – to monitor a situation or to be kept informed about something  

run me through” – to talk about something with someone so they will know it better

"to fine-tune" - to make small changes to something to make it better

to recap” – means to summarise what has been said

Notice this has been said twice in the conversation and is a useful phrase to keep both current and future meetings productive and on track

I’ll get back to you” – meaning I’ll let you know

to keep one posted” – meaning to keep one informed. 



Try out my new lessons on Work English comprising 4 units, where we can learn more about typical conversations at work. 

This column was published by the author in their personal capacity.
The opinions expressed in this column are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Cafetalk.

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