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10 Ending a Meeting

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SCRIPTS

Meeting A - Formal Meeting

Alex: Shawn, on behalf of all the attendees, I want to thank you for leading such an interesting and productive meeting. I think we have all learned something here today and we have a clear action plan for the next steps. Our secretary will type up the minutes for today’s meeting and we’ll distribute them via email for comments. She will also reserve a conference room for next Tuesday’s meeting and you’ll be apprised of the location as soon as we know it.
Please sign your names on this sheet of paper before leaving today, so that we’ll have a record of who was at today’s meeting. Our secretary will type up a list with your contact information, and we’ll disseminate the participant list to all of you. For now, I’m adjourning this meeting. We will see each other again next Tuesday. Thank you to all of you for your participation.

Meeting B - Informal Meeting

Alex: Shawn, thank you for organizing this meeting. We all appreciate you telling us about the work that your team has done. The new committees have a lot on their plate over the coming weeks and months. Our secretary will send an email with the minutes for today’s meeting. Please read them and let us know if you have any corrections or additions. She’ll also try to find us a meeting space for next Tuesday and she’ll send a reminder with that info a few days before the meeting. Before you leave, I’m passing around this list with contact information for all of you. Please check off your name once you’ve double-checked that it’s correct. You’ll get a copy of this list within a few days so that we can all keep in touch between meetings. Okay, everybody. That’s a wrap. Thanks for your attention. See you on Tuesday.

GLOSSARY

Meeting A - Formal Meeting

on behalf of (someone) – a phrase used to show that one is speaking for another person or group, expressing others’ opinions or thoughts
* On behalf of all the students, Rhea presented the flowers to the dance instructor and thanked her for the classes.

productive – effective at getting work done well and quickly
* Carlos is a very productive writer, finishing more than 30 pages of his book every day.

action plan – a plan about what one will do step by step for a project during a period of time in the future
* Jefferson’s action plan for buying a new home is to look at five homes each weekend until he finds one that he likes.

next step – the next thing that one will do or needs to do
* After mixing all the ingredients and putting them into a pan, the next step is to put the dish in the oven for 40 minutes.

minutes – a written detailed description of what was discussed during a meeting used as a record of the meeting
* Have you received the minutes from last week’s staff meeting?

via – through; by; by way of
* We’re supposed to get the report via fax this afternoon, but it hasn’t come though yet.

comment – an opinion about something; a statement about whether one likes or agrees with something
* Charlene’s only comment about the movie was that is was too long.

to reserve – to arrange for something to be available for one’s use at a future date and time
* Have you reserved a hotel room in Minneapolis yet?

conference room – a small room in an office building with a large table and many chairs for meetings
* Let’s meet in the managers’ conference room. It has comfortable chairs and a good view of the city.

to apprise – to explain; to tell; to describe
* The manager quickly apprised us of the project’s status.

to sign – to write one’s name on a piece of paper to show that one has read and agreed to something
* The lawyers prepared these papers for their clients to sign after both sides came to an agreement.

sheet – one piece of paper, usually 8! x 11 inches
* Could you please write down directions to your house on a sheet of paper?

record – something that is written down so that one can remember things later
* Do you keep your financial records on paper or electronically on a computer?

to type up – to take the information that is written on a piece of paper and type it on a computer
* My boss gave me his notes to type up, but I can’t read his handwriting!

contact information – one’s address, email, telephone number, and fax number; the information that can be used to communicate with someone
* Don’t forget to put your contact information at the bottom of your emails so that people can call you easily if they have questions.

to disseminate – to distribute; to give something to many people; to circulate
* The researchers wanted to disseminate the findings of their study to the news agencies as quickly as possible.

participant list – a list of the names of people who were at a meeting or event
* More than 60 people were on the participant list for last month’s conference.

to adjourn – to end something, especially a meeting; to stop something
* Christopher had to adjourn the meeting early because there was a fire in the building.

Meeting B - Informal Meeting

to appreciate – to feel grateful or thankful for something
* I appreciate your concern about my health, but I’m really doing fine now.


to have a lot on (one’s) plate – to be very busy; to have a lot of work to do; to have many responsibilities
* Donna is a wife, mother, business owner, and part-time student, so she has a lot on her plate.

coming – pending; upcoming; something that will happen in the near future
* Before the movie started, there were several trailers showing the coming attractions.

correction – a change needed to fix a problem, usually in a written document
* I made one correction to your paper by changing “they’re” to “their.”

addition – something that is added to something else
* This biography would be better with the addition of more information about the artist’s early childhood.

reminder – something that makes one remember to do something
* Harvey’s watch makes a noise twice a day as a reminder for him to take his medication.

to check off – to put a check symbol (!) next to something in a list
* Many people like to make lists of the things they need to do and the check them off as they finish them.

to keep in touch – to remain in contact; to continue to communicate with someone
* Have you kept in touch with very many of your friends from high school?

That’s a wrap – an informal phrase used at the end of a presentation or meeting
* That’s a wrap. I hope to see you on Thursday at our next class.

COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT

Welcome to ESLPod.com's “Business Meetings" course: lesson 10. I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

In the ninth lesson of “Business Meetings,” we learned business vocabulary for ending a topic and planning for the future at formal and informal business meetings. In this tenth and final, or last, lesson, we're going to learn how to end formal and informal meetings.

To begin, let's listen to how Alex ends the formal meeting.

[start of formal meeting script]

Alex: Shawn, on behalf of all the attendees, I want to thank you for leading such an interesting and productive meeting. I think we have all learned something here today and we have a clear action plan for the next steps. Our secretary will type up the minutes for today’s meeting and we’ll distribute them via email for comments. She will also reserve a conference room for next Tuesday’s meeting and you’ll be apprised of the location as soon as we know it.
Please sign your names on this sheet of paper before leaving today, so that we’ll have a record of who was at today’s meeting. Our secretary will type up a list with your contact information, and we’ll disseminate the participant list to all of you. For now, I’m adjourning this meeting. We will see each other again next Tuesday. Thank you to all of you for your participation.

[end of formal meeting script]

Alex begins by saying, “Shawn, on behalf of all the attendees, I want to thank you.” The expression, “on the behalf (behalf) of someone” means that you are speaking for another person or another group, that you’re expressing someone else’s opinion or thoughts. In this case, Alex is thanking Shawn, and he's also expressing the thanks of everyone else in the room – “on behalf of” everyone in the room. If you are a team leader, for example, and your team receives an award, you might say, “On behalf of all my team, I want to thank you for this

award.” Alex is thanking Shawn for leading an interesting and productive meeting. If something is “productive” (productive) it’s effective in getting work done well and quickly. For example, if you type 100 words per minute, you’re probably more productive than someone who types 20 words per minute, because you can type more quickly. A productive meeting, then, is a meeting where the people are able to get a lot of work done and they feel it was a good use of their time.

Alex says, “I think we have all learned something here today and we have a clear action plan for the next steps.” An “action plan” is a plan or a list of what you are going to do that tells you each part of what you need to do. We would say that gives you a “step by step” for doing a project over a certain amount of time. First you do this, then you do that, then you do this; it tells you what you are going to do in the future. That’s an “action plan.” The action plan for Vision Corporation is to work in two committees, or small groups, on the marketing campaign and on the product changes. A “next step” is the next thing that you need to do, or that you will do. Your next step after listening to this lesson, for example, may be to read the transcript over again.

Alex says that the secretary will type up the minutes for today’s meeting. In this context, “minutes” are a written detailed description of what was discussed during a meeting. It’s used as a record of the meeting to tell you what happened in the meeting, we call those the “minutes,” it’s always plural. Normally someone is assigned, or asked, to take minutes – note the use of the verb “to take” with this noun, “minutes” – to take minutes for a business meeting, because then, later on, people can remember what happened at the meeting by looking at the minutes. The minutes are not usually a transcript; that is, they don’t have every word that everyone said. It’s like a summary of the main things – the main ideas – of the meeting.

Alex says that the secretary will distribute the minutes via email for comments. The word “via” (via - sometimes pronounced “via”) means through, by, or by way of, so in the expression “distribute the minutes via email” we mean to send the minutes – the document that has the summary of the meeting – to people by email, probably as an email attachment. Alex says that the secretary will distribute the minutes via email for comments. A “comment” is, in this case, an opinion about something, or a statement about whether one likes or agrees with something. The minutes will be distributed for comments so that people can say whether they agree with the minutes or if they think something needs to be changed or added. So perhaps, you said something that you thought was important and it is not in the minutes, you can ask to have the minutes changed by giving your comments.

Alex says that the secretary will reserve a conference room for next Tuesday’s meeting. “To reserve” (reserve) means to arrange for something to be available, usually for a future date and time. You might need to reserve a hotel room so that you know there will be a place for you to sleep. “To reserve” means to call or to contact someone and say, “I want to use this in the future; on this day and at this time.” In this case, the conference room is being reserved for next Tuesday. A “conference room” is a small room in an office building, usually with a large table (and many chairs) that you sit next to for your meeting. We would actually use the expression you “sit around the table.” Everyone is sitting next to the table, and that would be a conference room, or in a conference room. When Alex says that the secretary will reserve a conference room, then, he means that the secretary will arrange to have their meeting in a large room next Tuesday. Alex says that everyone will be apprised of the location as soon as it is known. “To apprise” (apprise) means to explain, or to tell; it could also mean to describe something so that you understand it. To “give someone information” is another possibility here. “I will apprise you of the time” means I will tell you the time. Once the secretary knows which conference room the meeting will be in, she will apprise, or tell, everyone.

Alex asks everyone to sign their names on a sheet of paper before leaving. “To sign one’s name” means to write your name on a piece of paper to show that you have read or agreed to something. We typically sign checks from the bank, for example, or letters, or maybe contracts. In this case, the people at the meeting are going to sign a piece of paper. We call that piece of paper a “sheet” (sheet). A “sheet” of paper is one piece of paper; in most American offices it is 8! x 11 inches – that’s the size of the paper, but a sheet of paper can be any size. Alex says that the signed sheet of paper will give them a record of who was at the meeting. In this case, a “record” is something that is written down so that you can remember it later. The sheet of paper that Alex is talking about will provide a record, or a way of remembering, who was at the meeting.

Next Alex says that the secretary will type up a list. “To type up something” means to take information that someone has written on a piece of paper and put it on a computer – to type it in, or to enter it into a computer. Sometimes it is difficult to type up other people’s notes and comments because it is difficult to read their handwriting. “Handwriting” is what you put on a piece of paper with your hand: letters and numbers and so forth. The secretary is going to type up a list of everyone’s contact information. Your “contact (contact) information” is your address, your email, your telephone number, perhaps your fax number, any information that can be used to communicate with you – to, we would say “get in touch with,” to communicate with you, to get in touch with you. Many websites, for example, ask you to provide your contact information. Alex, in the meeting, is asking people for their contact information so that he will know how to communicate with them and they can communicate with each other. Alex says that the secretary will disseminate the participant list to everyone. “To disseminate” means to distribute, or to circulate, to give something to many different people. For example, if you want to disseminate information about your party, you might put up posters, signs, send emails, or make telephone calls to let people know about your party. To give information out to people is to disseminate the information. The secretary is going to disseminate, or send, the list of the people who were at the meeting; we call this the “participant list.” A “participant” (participant) is someone who is part of something, someone who “participates” in something.

Alex officially ends the meeting by saying, “For now, I’m adjourning this meeting.” “To adjourn” (adjourn) is a formal verb that means to end or stop something, usually a meeting. After someone adjourns a meeting, you might stay in the room for a while, talking to other people who are there, but when the meeting is adjourned, it is over – it is officially finished. Alex says, “We will see each other again next Tuesday,” reminding people of that the next meeting will be on Tuesday. Finally, he thanks everyone for their participation.

Now that we understand the new words, let’s listen to how Alex ends the formal meeting again. This time he will speak more quickly.

[start of formal meeting script]

Alex: Shawn, on behalf of all the attendees, I want to thank you for leading such an interesting and productive meeting. I think we have all learned something here today and we have a clear action plan for the next steps. Our secretary will type up the minutes for today’s meeting and we’ll distribute them via email for comments. She will also reserve a conference room for next Tuesday’s meeting and you’ll be apprised of the location as soon as we know it.
Please sign your names on this sheet of paper before leaving today, so that we’ll have a record of who was at today’s meeting. Our secretary will type up a list with your contact information, and we’ll disseminate the participant list to all of you. For now, I’m adjourning this meeting. We will see each other again next Tuesday. Thank you to all of you for your participation.

[end of formal meeting script]

And so our formal meeting has ended. Now let’s listen to how Alex ends the
informal meeting.

[start of informal meeting script]

Alex: Shawn, thank you for organizing this meeting. We all appreciate you telling us about the work that your team has done. The new committees have a lot on their plate over the coming weeks and months. Our secretary will send an email with the minutes for today’s meeting. Please read them and let us know if you have any corrections or additions. She’ll also try to find us a meeting space for next Tuesday and she’ll send a reminder with that info a few days before the meeting. Before you leave, I’m passing around this list with contact information for all of you. Please check off your name once you’ve double-checked that it’s correct. You’ll get a copy of this list within a few days so that we can all keep in touch between meetings. Okay, everybody. That’s a wrap. Thanks for your attention. See you on Tuesday.

[end of informal meeting script]

In the informal meeting, Alex first thanks Shawn for organizing the meeting. He says, “We all appreciate you telling us about the work that your team has done.” “To appreciate” (appreciate) means to feel grateful or thankful for something. “I appreciate you coming here” means “I want to thank you for coming here.” Alex then says that “The new committees have a lot on their plate (plate) over the coming weeks and months.” “To have a lot on your plate” means to be very busy, to have a lot of work to do, or to have many responsibilities. If you say “I have a lot on my plate right now,” you mean you have a lot to do; you have, perhaps, too much to do. When Alex says the committees have a lot on their plate over the coming weeks and months, he means the committees have a lot of work to do. The word “coming,” here, means something that will happen in the near future. The “coming weeks and months” means the weeks and months that are near to us in the future. The coming weeks and months, then, are the ones that are coming soon.

Alex says that the secretary will send an email with the minutes, or written notes, for the meeting. Alex asks people to read the minutes and let him know if they have any corrections or additions. “Corrections” are changes that are needed to fix a problem, usually something that is in a written document. “I have some corrections to your letter” – I have some changes, there are some things that are wrong that you need to fix. An “addition” is something that is added to something else. You might make an addition to the minutes by saying that “I said something that was not in the minutes, so I want to add it.” Alex wants people to make corrections to the minutes if they read anything that is wrong – that is incorrect, and additions if they think that something is missing. Alex also says that the secretary will try to find a meeting space, or place to meet, for next Tuesday. He says that the secretary will send everyone a reminder with that info a few days before the meeting. A “reminder” (reminder) is something that helps you remember something else. A reminder could be on your calendar, or it could be someone sending you an email saying, “I am reminding you (I am asking you to remember) our appointment,” for example. “Info” (info) is short for information. It’s a more informal way of saying “information.”

Next Alex says that he is passing around a list with contact information (names, telephone numbers, and email addresses) for everyone. “To pass around” means to give to people who are usually sitting in a group; they might even be sitting in a circle, but not necessarily. “To pass something around” means to give it to one person, and then give it to the next person, and so forth, in a group. Alex is going to pass around something that has contact information for everyone. He asks people to check off their names once they have double-checked that the information is correct. “To check (check) off something” means to put a check symbol (!) next to something on a list – a little mark on the paper. “To double-check,” as a verb, means to look at something again to make sure that it is correct, or to confirm something. Alex is asking people to read the list, and if their information is correct, to put a check symbol, or a checkmark, next to their name. Alex says that everyone will get a copy of the list within a few days so that they can keep in touch between meetings. “To keep in touch” means to remain in contact, to continue to communicate with someone.

At the end of the meeting, Alex says, “That’s a wrap” (wrap). “That’s a wrap” is a very informal expression used to end a presentation or a meeting. It’s actually an expression that is used when someone is making a movie, and when they are finished with a particular part of the movie that they are filming, the person who is the leader – the director of the movie may say, “That’s a wrap,” meaning “we’re done for now, everyone can relax.” Finally, Alex thanks everyone for their attention and says, “See you on Tuesday,” which is an informal way of saying “I will see everyone here next Tuesday.”

Let’s listen to the informal meeting again, this time with Alex speaking at a native rate of speech.

[start of informal meeting script]

Alex: Shawn, thank you for organizing this meeting. We all appreciate you telling us about the work that your team has done. The new committees have a lot on their plate over the coming weeks and months. Our secretary will send an email with the minutes for today’s meeting. Please read them and let us know if you have any corrections or additions. She’ll also try to find us a meeting space for next Tuesday and she’ll send a reminder with that info a few days before the meeting. Before you leave, I’m passing around this list with contact information for all of you. Please check off your name once you’ve double-checked that it’s correct. You’ll get a copy of this list within a few days so that we can all keep in touch between meetings. Okay, everybody. That’s a wrap. Thanks for your attention. See you on Tuesday.

[end of informal meeting script]

And “that’s a wrap” for our tenth and final lesson in this “Business Meetings” course. I hope you have all enjoyed these ten lessons and that they’ve helped you become more familiar with the vocabulary used at formal and informal business meetings.

Be sure to visit our website at eslpod.com for more useful courses to help you improve your personal and professional English.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening.

This course has been a production of the Center for Educational Development, in beautiful Los Angeles, California. Visit our web site at eslpod.com.

This course was produced by Dr. Jeff McQuillan and Dr. Lucy Tse. Copyright 2007.