Business English: Seven useful expressions to get a meeting started

Everyone likes a bit of a chat at the beginning of a meeting, but when it’s time to get started, use these key phrases:

To get the ball rolling

Definition: To get the meeting or discussion started.

Example: “OK, everyone. Let’s get the ball rolling. Come and sit down and we’ll start the meeting.”

To open with

Definition: To begin by talking about a certain topic.

Example: “Let’s open with a summary of what each of you has achieved this week.”

To hand over to

Definition: To introduce another speaker.

Example: “I’d like to hand over to Dave to explain our plans for the next quarter.”

On the agenda

Definition: Something on the plan to be discussed.

Example: “Today, the first item on the agenda is to decide on a new supplier.”

To get down to business

Definition: To talk about the most important issues.

Example: “It’s time to get down to business. How much will this cost and how much time will it save me?”

To kick off

Definition: To get started.

Example: “Let’s kick off by reviewing the results of our last campaign.”

To take the minutes

Definition: To take notes on everything that was said and agreed on in that meeting.

Example: “It’s my turn to take the minutes, so please let me know if there’s anything special you want me to make a note of.”

To help remember these phrases, try writing an introduction to a meeting using all of them. Imagine you are in a weekly meeting with your colleagues. How many of these expressions could you use?

Can you think of any other expressions to begin a meeting with? If so, share them in the comments section below.

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