Managing time in business meetings

Managing Discussions – Part 1: Simple English Videos Lesson

I hate meetings. Me too. They’re such a waste of time. We never get anything done. What’s this meeting about? No idea. I thought you called it. That’s funny. I thought you called it. No. What time is it supposed to finish? Three o’clock. Half an hour to go. Welcome to the first in a series of lessons on managing discussions. We’re going to be looking at things you can do and say to make your English meetings more efficient and productive. Let’s go to a business meeting and get started. So I said to him, I’ve told you about this before. And he said, I know you have. So I said, well tell me what you’re gonna do about it. And he said …. Yes, thanks Jay. Erm, perhaps we could come back to this later if we have time. Speaking of time…. Do you have another appointment then? Bank manager at eleven forty-five. Overdrawn again? Can I remind everyone that I’m trying to get through this by eleven thirty? Good, because I have to go to New York. Yes, I know Jay. OK. Let’s turn to item three which is security. Sally, could you fill us in on the new procedures? Yes, sure. Did you understand everything? Let’s check. What about this part? Speaking of time…. Do you have another appointment then? Bank manager at eleven forty-five. Overdrawn again? Sally has an appointment with her bank manager, but what does ‘overdrawn’ mean? We put money into our bank account, deposit it. And then we withdraw it, take it out. If we’re overdrawn, we’ve taken out more money than we put in. That’s not good. Now what about this phrase? Let’s turn to item three which is security. Sally, could you fill us in on the new procedures? Yes, sure. Fill us in. If you fill someone in you tell them what’s happened. You give them information and bring them up to date. OK. Now let’s look at some different things you can do to make your English meetings more productive and efficient. First of all you’ll need an agenda – that’s the list of different points that need to be discussed. Let’s get started. Yes. What’s on the agenda? There are two items. The annual budget and the office party. Let’s start with the party! An item is a thing, so here it’s a topic or subject on an agenda. Now time is always limited, so you need to make sure people keep moving along through the agenda. I have to go to New York. Yes, I know Jay. OK, let’s turn to item three which is security. Turn to’ means move on, go onto the next topic. Now here’s a different problem. What are you going to say if someone starts talking too long? So I said to him, I’ve told you about this before. And he said, I know you have. So I said, well tell me what you want to do about it then…. Nobody is interested in what they’re saying, but how can you get them to stop? What can you say? Stop talking. Be quiet. Shhhh. You’re wasting time. I’ll give you ten dollars to keep quiet. Shut up. Shuddup. Zip it. Well, you could say these things, but not if you want to be polite. Let’s look at what Louise said. And he said, I know you have, so I said, well tell me what you want to do about it then and he said…. Yes, thanks Jay. Perhaps we could come back to this later if we have time. Louise was diplomatic. And if time is slipping away, there’s something else you can do as well. Set a target time for the meeting to finish and then remind everyone. Can I remind everyone that I’m trying to get through this by eleven thirty? Remind – it means help someone remember. And get through – that means complete, finish. And speaking of time, we need to stop now. But come back again later and we’ll have another video on how to manage discussions. Subscribe to our channel to see more of our videos. And if your organization needs specialized English language training, we make videos for that too. So get in touch if we can help.

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