Do you want to have an effective meeting in English? Of course you do! This lesson is perfect for those in need of understanding vocabulary, expressions and practice for business meetings in English.

BusinessEnglish Meetings, Agendas, and Minutes

Vocabulary – Expressions – Phrasal Verbs – Idioms:

Meeting – in a business setting, the term used to refer to a gathering of a group of employees with the purpose of discussing company business. Meetings are also held with potential clients, current customers, business partners and others that are related to the success of your company.

Agenda – the list of items or topics that will be discussed during the meeting in the order in which the meeting will be conducted.

Minutes – notes taken during a previous meeting that usually included who attended, agenda topics with a brief description, results of any voting decisions, and time the meeting was adjourned.

ASAP – short for “as soon as possible”. This is a common expression, but be careful using it since it adds pressure to the person it is directed at. Some managers use this term too much which makes it ineffective over time.

Back to square one – A common idiom that means to start over again. This is used when things get to a point where they are usually beyond repair or unmanageable.

By the book – to do everything 100% according to company policy. If you do not follow the policies of a company you can easily be terminated.

Gameplan -The term for a plan or strategy. This common idiom is used in the US and is based on their love of sports.

Get or getting down to business. – a phrase that means it is time to get started. It is used as well to show a seriousness to a particular task or subject.

Cover all of the topics – to talk or write about different parts of the business that need to be resolved. This is commonly used in meetings and is often asked in a question format.

 Meeting, Agenda, and Minutes Live English Example

Live Example:

The HR employee knew the meeting should be conducted by the book, starting with reading the minutes and agenda. She decided to come up with a game plan for getting down to business ASAP, so they wouldn’t have to go back to square one if everyone got off task. Their manager often complained about meetings that did not end on time or did not cover all of the topics. With Tom in charge, this will not be an issue since he is good at covering all of the topics. He also follows everything by the book to ensure he meets the standards of the company.

 Live Conversation Example

Live Conversation Example:

HR employee: Let’s get down to business by having Jan read the minutes from the last meeting.

Jan: The most important note from the meeting minutes is that we need to cover all of the topics that we did not have time to do in the last meeting.

HR employee:  Let’s quickly look at today’s agenda so we can get started ASAP. To keep us from having to go back to square one, I have developed a game plan that we are going to follow by the book.
(Employees nod in agreement.)
HR employee: In the agenda for the meeting today, we need to get back to square one with the Amazon project since we made too many errors. It is time to develop a new game plan to ensure we will complete the project on time.



Look over the agenda when you receive it to ensure you have everything you might need for the meeting. You can look here at a sample meeting agenda.

Be sure to bring paper and a pen to all meetings and turn off any personal devices.
Write down any questions you may have. Don’t be afraid to bring them up to ensure you fully understand what is going on.

If you do not know how to write an effective meeting agenda then look here at the seven steps for a perfect meeting agenda.

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