Useful Phrases for Participating in a Business Meeting

Useful Meeting Phrases

Working in Information Technology
Working in Information Technology. Peopleimages.com / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Interrupting

Use the following phrases to interrupt or join in the conversation.

May I have a word?
If I may, I think...
Excuse me for interrupting.
May I come in here?

Giving Opinions

These phrases will give your opinion during a meeting.

I (really) feel that...
In my opinion...
The way I see things...

Asking for Opinions

These questions will help you ask for feedback and opinions during a conversation.

Do you (really) think that...


(name of participant) can we get your input?
How do you feel about...?

Commenting on Opinions

Use these phrases to show that you are carefully listening to other's opinions.

I never thought about it that way before.
Good point!
I get your point.
I see what you mean.

Agreeing with Other Opinions

If you agree with what has been said, use these phrases to have your voice heard.

Exactly!
That's (exactly) the way I feel.
I have to agree with (name of participant).

Disagreeing with Other Opinions

Sometimes we have to disagree with others. Make sure to be polite, but firm when disagreeing

Up to a point I agree with you, but...
(I'm afraid) I can't agree

Advising and Suggesting

Thee phrases can be used to advise or make a suggestion during a meeting. 

We should...
Why don't you....
How/What about...
I suggest/recommend that...

Clarifying

Sometimes it's important to clarify what you've said. That might mean that you need to rephrase your point in other words.

(Statement) Have I made that clear?
(Statement) Do you see what I'm getting at?
Let me put this another way (statement)
I'd just like to repeat that (statement)

Asking for Repetition

If you don't understand what's been said, use one of these phrases. 

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?

Asking for Clarification

If you'd like to check on some of the details, use these phrases to ask for more details and get clarification. 

I'm afraid I don't quite understand what your are 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?

Asking for Contributions for Other Participants

You can ask for more feedback by directly asking what others have something else to contribute. 

What do you think about this proposal?
Would you like to add anything, (name of participant)?
Has anyone else got anything to contribute?
Are there any more comments?

Correcting Information

At times, it's necessary to correct what someone else has said if it's vital to the conversation.

Sorry, that's not quite right.
I'm afraid you don't understand what I'm saying.
That's not quite what I had in mind.
That's not what I meant.

Keeping the Meeting on Time

FInally, it's common to go too long, so these phrases can help keep the meeting on time. 

Well, that seems to be all the time we have today.
Please be brief.
I'm afraid we've run out of time.
I'm afraid that's outside the scope of this meeting.


Let's get back on track, why don't we?
That's not really why we're here today.
Why don't we return to the main focus of today's meeting.
We'll have to leave that to another time.
We're beginning to lose sight of the main point.
Keep to the point, please.
I think we'd better leave that for another meeting.
Are we ready to make a decision?

Explore useful phrases and proper language use in these business English articles:

Introduction and Example Meeting Dialogue

Phrase Reference Sheet for Running a Meeting

Formal or Informal? Appropriate Language in Business Situations