（四） At a Meeting
Teaching Objectives (教学目标):
After completing this lesson, students should be able to:
--understand and use vocabulary related to meetings;
--identify and understand basic aspects of planning a meeting;
--effectively use communication skills to:
● chair a meeting;
● ask for and give opinions;
● agree and disagree with an idea
● make suggestions.
I. Discussion (课堂讨论): What are the reasons that meetings are held? What are the drawbacks of meetings? Discuss with your partner and write them out.
II. Sum-up (总结归纳会议用语):
--There are several reasons why meetings are held (开会的原因)
● reaching decisions in a meeting means that all the participants can feel more committed to the decision;
● information is available to more people;
● different and unexpected ideas can be contributed;
● meetings can lead to more imaginative and informed decisions – often more courageous decisions than one person might feel brave enough to make.
--Some of the drawbacks of meetings are (开会的缺点)
● more time is required than if one person made the decisions;
● there’s more talk (and this is sometimes irrelevant and repetitive);
● there’s more group pressure.
Sample Board of Directors Meeting Agenda (董事会会议日程表样本)
(Name of Agency 机构名称)
Board Meeting Agenda (董事会会议日程)
(Month, Day, Year 月，日，年)
(Planned Starting Time to Ending Time 计划开始时间至结束时间)
Minutes from Previous Meeting
Chief Executive’s Report
Finance Committee’s Report
Approve Budget Changes
Development Committee’s Report (nonprofit)
Approve Fund-raising Plan
Board Development Committee
Approve Plans for Retreat
Adopt Resolution to Change
Roundtable Evaluation of Meeting
Review of Actions from Meeting
Sample of the Minutes of a Management Meeting (管理层会议纪要样本)
Name of Organization (机构名)
(Meeting Minutes: Month Day, Year 会议纪要：月 日，年)
(Time and Location 时间和地点)
Present: David Brown, Alex Lee, Tina Johnson, Anna M. Swanson
● Tina: reported on overtime work.
● Agreed: need to reduce amount of overtime work.
● Alex: raised recent staff cuts. People are missing deadlines.
● David: absenteeism and lateness are problems in some plants. David to review absenteeism/lateness policies with plant managers.
● Anna to work out realistic targets and propose deadlines to achieve them.
● Other business: Tina announced that she had recently hired a new secretary, Karla Baldini.
● Meeting adjourned at 11:00.
● Minutes submitted by: Secretary, Betty Bergman.
--Useful phrases for meetings
May I have a word?
Excuse me for interrupting.
I (really) feel that we should start the advertising program.
If you ask me, I tend to think that the price is a little bit high.
I strongly believe that her proposal is reasonable.
Commenting on other opinions
I never thought about it that way before.
I see what you mean.
Agreeing with other opinions
That’s (exactly) the way I feel.
I have to agree with Harry.
Disagreeing with other opinions
Up to a point I agree with you, but…
I see what you mean. But if we do that, …
Have I made that clear?
Let me put this another way…
I’d just like to repeat that…
Would you mind telling me..?
I wonder if you could give me…
Asking for repetition
I missed that. Could you say it again, please?
Asking for clarification
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 verification
Do you mean that…?
Is it true that…?
Asking for contributions of other participants
What do you think about this proposal?
Are there any more comments?
I’m afraid you don’t understand what I’m saying.
That’s not what I meant.
Keeping the meeting on time
I’m afraid we’ve run out of time.
There’s not much time left. Could you please be brief?
We’ll have to leave that to another time.
I think we need to keep to the point.
I think we’d better leave that for another meeting.
Are we ready to make a decision?
If nobody wants to add anything, we can draw the meeting to a close.
III. Listening practice and imitating drills:
Here are 9 different tasks for a business meeting. First complete the tasks with what you hear. Then decide to which column each task belongs and fill out the chart. The first one has been done for you.
(1) Distribute the list of action points.
(2) Distribute the agenda of a meeting.
(3) Circulate the minutes of a meeting.
(4) Make a decision.
(5) Collect information and feedback.
(6) Decide on the topic of a meeting.
(7) Write the minutes of a meeting.
(8) Arrange seating.
(9) Invite participants and confirm attendance.
1. You will hear some business people talking at meetings about things that can go wrong. Complete the sentences and tick the three items that you consider the worst.
Man: Sometimes the participants don’t know the purpose of the meeting.
Man: People often start to argue and then they get angry with each other.
Woman: Lots of meetings I go to have no written agenda.
Man: What often happens is that the chairperson just rushes through the agenda, in order to finish the meeting on time.
Woman: Well, often some members are late so we have to sit there waiting until everyone arrives so that the meeting can get started.
Man: The meeting finishes late because too much time is allowed for discussion.
Woman: Yes, but not all the items on the agenda are dealt with.
Man: I’ve been to so many meetings that ended without any decision being made.
Woman: No one is asked to take notes and keep the minutes of the meeting.
Man: The chairperson doesn’t control the discussion and everyone talks at once.
1. How could videoconferencing be useful in your work?
2. In what situations would you prefer to have a personal meeting?