Hi there, and welcome to Wall Street’s “Two-Minute English”.
Many of us have to attend meetings, whether it’s for work, school or some kind of project. Have you ever had to chair a meeting? To chair a meeting means to run or manage the meeting to ensure it runs smoothly, punctually, and that everyone gets a chance to say what he or she needs to say. The person who chairs the meeting also makes sure the meeting keeps moving forward, and summarises and wraps up the meeting at the end.
At the start of the meeting, introduce yourself, welcome any new members and find out if anyone is going to be absent. Make sure someone is taking minutes before the meeting begins, and always start on time. Keep things brief and short, and state the objectives of the meeting – basically say what the purpose of the meeting is. An example could be: “Welcome to today’s meeting. I am Ben. John from HR and Cathy from Finance will be joining us. Unfortunately, Susan won’t be joining us as she is in another meeting. Today, we’ll be reviewing the ideas for the new marketing plan before we actually execute them.
During the meeting, always keep an eye out for time and set out any time limits. Make sure everyone takes part and has a chance to speak. Allow flexibility, but always keep to the agenda. Also, be prepared to highlight issues that no one else is willing to deal with. For example: “We’ll let Tim tell us about his team’s developments. Go ahead Tim.” “I am afraid to interrupt you Tim, but we have to move on because of time. Let’s hear now from Cathy and her team’s latest developments.” “So far, no one seems to agree with the plan. But we need to make a decision by today, so let’s not waste any time and come to an agreement.”
At the end of the meeting, summarise what has been said and make sure everyone knows what they have to follow up on. Set a date for the next meeting while everyone is still in the room, and ensure that someone will write up the minutes. Finally, thank everyone for joining.
Well, that’s all for this week’s “Two-Minute English”. Bye-bye.