English for Meetings by Business English Pod

Our business English meetings lessons cover a huge range of language for effective communication in English meetings. Whether you’re looking to confidently express your opinions, navigate agreements and disagreements, or make valuable suggestions, Business English Pod has you covered.

The early lessons (BEP 20’s – BEP 80’s) focus on the basics of English for meetings. These lessons address essential business English expressions for giving opinions, agreeing, disagreeing, making suggestions, and accepting or rejecting proposals. You’ll also learn how to clarify what was said and the meaning behind other people’s statements. We also cover language for opening meetings, managing discussions, and dealing with interruptions to give you a complete foundation in key language for meetings in English.

In more recent English meeting lessons we look at more advanced situations and skills. Learn about scenario planning, stand up meetings for project management, internal and external client meetings and discussing strategic concerns. Learners can also discover effective ways to lead group decision-making meetings and present coherent arguments. And with the rise of virtual teams and online meetings, we have lessons on video conferences, managing remote teams, and participating in meetings online.

You can learn business English for meetings with lessons on diplomatic language, business strategy discussions, brainstorming, defending your ideas, and even small talk before meetings. Learn how to argue your point in meetings, meet with vendors, and discuss proposals.

With a focus on useful language and expressions, vocabulary, communication strategies, you’ll be equipped with the skills and language you need for modern business communication.

All our lessons on English for meetings are listed below with the latest lessons at the top.

BEP 31c – English for Meetings: Responding to Suggestions

BEP 31 LESSON - English for Meetings: Responding to Suggestions

Welcome back to Business English Pod. Today’s lesson is the second in a series about handling suggestions in English meetings. Last time we looked at how to make suggestions. And this time we’re going to look at how to respond to suggestions.

Business is a team sport. And behind every successful team is a healthy internal dialog and debate. If you want to succeed in business and be a good team player, you need opinions and the skills to express them effectively. But that doesn’t only mean making your own suggestions. It also means responding to other people’s suggestions.

So in this lesson, we’ll learn different ways of responding to suggestions. That includes responding positively, by accepting or praising the idea. It also includes rejecting ideas or casting doubt on them.

In today’s dialog, we’ll listen to a marketing team meeting at a sports shoe company. The four colleagues are talking about a new ad campaign. They are making suggestions for a “spokesperson,” or recognizable figure to promote their shoes. During the discussion they use a variety of techniques and language to respond to suggestions.

Listening Questions

1. What does Miguel think of Sven’s idea to hire an overweight business executive as a spokesperson?
2. How does Karen react to Miguel’s suggestion of hiring a famous sports star?
3. What is the group’s response to Karen’s final suggestion of hiring a golfer?

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BEP 30c – English for Meetings: Making Suggestions

BEP 30c LESSON - English for Meetings: How to make Suggestions

Welcome back to Business English Pod. Today’s lesson is the first in a series about making and responding to suggestions in meetings in English. This is part of a broader project to take another look at some of our older lessons.

Solving problems and coming up with ideas in groups is a big part of work. Succeeding in business means participating effectively in these kinds of group meetings. And to do that, you need to know how to make and respond to suggestions. It’s no use having a good idea if you can’t express it!

In this lesson, we’re going to focus on how to make suggestions. We’ll look at several different expressions we use to suggest ideas. Expressions like “one possibility,” and “maybe,” and “how about” are essential when you want to make suggestions in a meeting. And it’s good to have lots of different expressions for different situations.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear a conversation between four people who work in marketing for a sports shoe company. They are discussing a new ad campaign and coming up with ideas for a “spokesperson,” or a famous person to advertise their new shoes. In their conversation, they use lots of expressions for making suggestions.

Listening Questions

1. What words does Sven use to introduce his suggestion of using a famous business executive?
2. What suggestion does Miguel introduce with the word “perhaps?”
3. How does Charles introduce his suggestion of choosing someone from a sport where it’s normal to be heavy?

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BEP 29c – Meetings in English: How to Disagree

Welcome back to Business English Pod This lesson is the second part of our series on agreeing and disagreeing. Today we’re going to look at how to disagree.

In the board room or the break room, it’s great to be able to support other people’s ideas by agreeing. But you won’t get far in business if you just agree with everything. You need to be able to disagree confidently and politely. Only then can you convince people that you have an even better idea.

In this lesson, we’re going to talk about how to disagree in meetings in English. Sometimes you’ll need formal polite expressions, and sometimes you can use shorter more informal expressions. And to take things to the next level, you can learn how to disagree using the “yes… but” approach. Another effective technique is to use questions to disagree. As you can see, you’ve got lots of options for disagreeing.

In today’s dialog, we’re going to listen again to a conversation between Gene, Louis, and Carina. They work for a pharmaceutical, or drug company, and they’re talking about the tests of a new drug. During their conversation, they use many different expressions for disagreeing

Listening Questions

1. How does Carina start her first statement to show she disagrees?
2. What negative question does Carina use to show disagreement about the test results?
3. How does Gene disagree with Carina’s statement that there may still be issues with the new drug?

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BEP 28c – Meetings in English: How to Agree

BEP 28c - Meetings in English: How to Agree

Welcome back to Business English Pod. Today’s lesson is the first in a series about agreeing and disagreeing in meetings in English. This is part of a broader project to take another look at some of our older lessons.

Success in business can depend on how your opinions align with other people’s ideas. For this reason, agreeing and disagreeing are essential communication skills. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the board room, the meeting room, or the staff room, you need to know how to agree and disagree effectively.

Today, we’re going to focus on agreeing. In fact, there are many ways to agree with someone! Sometimes we want to use a short expression. Sometimes we need something longer and more polite. Sometimes we want to show energy and enthusiasm. And sometimes we want to use an example or repeat someone else’s idea. It really depends on the situation.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear a conversation between three people who work for a pharmaceutical, or drug company. Gene, Louis, and Carina are talking about the results of a new trial for a drug called Zorax. In their conversation, they use many different expressions for agreeing.

Listening Questions

1. How does Louis agree with the idea that the drug will be a “big seller?”
2. What is one word that means “excellent” or “very good” that is used to agree?
3. What idea does Gene repeat with emphasis at the end of the conversation?

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BEP 369 – Scenario Planning 3: Discussing Strategic Responses

BEP 369 - Scenario Planning Meetings English 3: Discussing Strategic Responses

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on talking about strategic responses during a scenario planning meeting in English.

It’s impossible to predict the future exactly. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t bother trying. After all, we don’t create business strategies based only on today’s realities. We need to think about what will or might happen and how we will respond to these possible events.

So if we’ve done the work of laying out future scenarios, then how exactly do we plan our strategic responses? To start, you’ll need to choose an overall strategic posture. Are you going to take the lead in your industry? Or will you sit back and respond to things as they happen?

Your strategic posture depends in part on the possible impacts of future events and your choice of strategies. You need to discuss these impacts in order to choose the best course of action out of several possibilities. So this means you’ll be doing a lot of discussing alternative strategies.

In strategic planning, we often say that you can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want. For this reason, you will have to ask your team to prioritize, or decide which strategies are most important. And to make those decisions about priorities, you’ll need to discuss hypothetical results of different actions.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin a meeting of executives at a large retail firm. Gwen is based in the US headquarters. She’s discussing strategies with Natasha and Daniel, who head up the firm’s operations in another country. The group is discussing strategic responses to future scenarios they’ve already mapped out.

Listening Questions

1. What strategy does Daniel suggest for their larger urban stores?
2. What does Natasha suggest instead of making big cuts to their operations?
3. What does Gwen say could be the ultimate result of the changes they’re discussing?

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