I’m afraid that’s outside the scope of this meeting

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Vocabulary - phrases for business meetings

phrases for business meetings


In this lesson, students reflect on ways to make a business meeting more productive and practise some useful phrases for business meetings. They also act out typical workplace situations.

B2 / Upper Intermediate75 minStandard LessonFree / Premium Plan


The lesson starts with a discussion on business meetings and some factors that make them unproductive. Then, students watch a video showing a business meeting and check if any obstacles they mentioned earlier made it unproductive. Next, they focus on six gapped extracts from the video and try to complete them with the correct forms of seven given verbs. After that, they watch the video again and check what the reactions to comments in the previous exercise were. The listening part is followed by another discussion in which students share their ideas on how the meeting could’ve been made more productive.


The following task introduces the definition of meeting facilitation. Students discuss the function and talk about the necessary skills a good meeting facilitator should have. Next, they match twelve half phrases to create steps in facilitating meetings (e.g. set an agenda, monitor progress). They analyse the steps and discuss in what way they’d make a business meeting productive. Afterwards, students focus on nine phrases for business meetings which they have to complete with the missing prepositions (e.g. I would like to point out that, I’d like to get your feedback on…). They also decide what the purpose of each of them is. In the next task, students need to imagine that they’re meeting facilitators. To put the phrases for business meetings into practice, they’re given seven typical business meeting situations. They have to decide what they would say in each of them by replacing the underlined items with the words in brackets. The lesson finishes with a group role play. Students imagine they’re having a weekly status update meeting and need to follow the instructions on a card given by their teacher (they might be a meeting facilitator or another team member). In each case, they’re given a list of phrases which they have to use and a list of topics to discuss.



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Leave a Reply

  1. manon beland

    Can’t wait to use this lesson!

    1. Ewa

      That’s great to hear. I’m sure your students will enjoy it 🙂

  2. [email protected]

    Well done. Great job! I’ll be using this lesson next week. Cheers!

    1. Ewa

      Awesome! Have fun with it 🙂

  3. mtorrusio

    In Germany, some students find the reference to the “Time Nazi” to be offensive. I’ve used this lesson twice, with the disclaimer that it’s not intended to be offensive. But, I have to be very careful which groups I use this with. I wish there were another video that I could use instead, but I haven’t found one, unfortunately.

    1. Ewa

      Hi, thanks for the comment. You’re right, the reference is somewhat offensive. Since it is not directly referred to in the lesson, I hope you will still use the lesson plan with some of your students.

      1. Genevieve N.

        Hi, I have the same feeling. I teach business adults in Germany and Austria and it’s a painful and taboo word. One has to be extremely sensitive to using the term and absolutely not in jest. The written material is great but unfortunately the video is embedded (usually an advantageous feature) so I can’t send the material for clients to prepare for lessons.

        1. Stan

          Hi! What you can do is remove the slide with the video (make a copy of the e-lesson plan and then you can make changes) as well as modify the lesson so that the video part is not there. I believe it’d be a loss but I understand that you may have different needs or students with different sense of humour for whom this might be a thorny issue, even if used in a sketch.

      2. D B

        I agree with the comment written by mtorrusio. The word “Time Nazi” is really strong, and my students here in Germany were quite shocked to see that phrase used in a video that should deal with the topic meetings, especially business meetings. Would you call anybody like this?
        And, yes I wish there would be another video.

  4. Louise Maguire

    This looks like a fun lesson! Thanks so much. Looking forward to using more of your materials 🙂

    1. Ewa

      That’s great, Louise! Enjoy teaching with ESL Brains 🙂

  5. Dan Rose

    The lesson looks good, but the video uses the reference ‘Time Nazi’ and I’m not sure if that is suitable for my Polish students.

    1. Ewa

      Hi, Dan. You’re right. Some students might find the comment offensive. I suppose it didn’t occur to me while I was creating the lesson becuase I’m used to hearing such references. My bad. On the other hand, though, it might spark a conversation about why comments of this kind are offensive. You could also decide to use the lesson plan about inclusive language (https://eslbrains.com/inclusive-language/) as a follow-up.

      1. Dan Rose

        Hi Ewa, Thanks for the reply. Am going to use it with some carefully selected classes.(ones with ‘younger’ students). – In fact, I used it in a one-to-one class and they didn’t mention anything and think they understood the context of the reference. She remarked that she thought the video was very funny….


    Hi, the video is just great and the group role play excellent!

    1. Ewa

      Thanks, Chantal. I’m glad you like the lesson.

  7. AGM

    I really don´t like the new graphics I am afraid to say!

  8. Jack Myhre

    Ewa you are really good at making these plans and they have been really helpful. Thanks!

    1. Ewa

      Thank you, Jack 🙂

  9. Nang Htun

    Thanks for sharing me the useful plans.

    1. Ewa

      You are most welcome 🙂 Hope your students like the lesson!

  10. lizzyd

    Yep, as per other comments the lesson is great but I did cringe at the Nazi reference. I teach in France, wouldn’t use it in a group lesson but will use in one to one lessons with discretion. Such a shame, another expression could have been used so easily. Avoid avoid avoid in the future…..

    1. Anastasia Gianno

      I just finished giving this lesson to a student. I loved it, so he did. thank you

      1. Ewa

        Happy to hear that, Anastasia. Thanks 🙂

  11. Eleanor Stapleton

    Thank you for this! You guys are amazing. I don’t normally teach business English but my student said she wanted to do some lessons around facilitating meetings at work because she wants to improve. I used this and she found it super useful – this was perfect!

    1. Ewa

      Fantastic! Thanks for sharing 🙂


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