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Business meetings in English – vocabulary!

When was the last time you were in a meeting?

What was it about? How useful or productive was it?

What did you say?

In this lesson, we’ll teach you some useful words and expressions to use in Business meetings in English.

As part of this, you’re going to watch a video conversation with these words so you can learn them more easily! By the way, conversations are a GREAT way to learn a language. Why? Because the language in conversations is the type of language that you can use when you’re speaking English too! So, are you ready? Let’s go!

Level: Intermediate (B1) to Upper Intermediate (B2)


Here are some useful words that appear in the video.

To go on for ages

If something “goes on for ages”, it lasts a long time: “The meeting went on for ages.”

The main points

The important things that people talk about in a meeting: “There were three main points in the meeting.”

To cut corners

If you “cut corners”, you do something as quickly and cheaply as possible: “We’ll have to cut corners if we want to finish this work in time.”

High stakes

If something is “high stakes”, it involves a lot of risk and you could lose a lot of money if it doesn’t go well: “It was a high stakes negotiation.”

To go on and on about something

If someone “goes on and on about something”, they keep talking about it: “She went on and on about all the mistakes we’d made.”

To come up with an idea

If you “come up with an idea”, you think of that idea: “I think I’ve come up with a great idea.”

To come through

If someone “comes through”, they do what you wanted or needed them to do: “I hope the bank comes through and lends us the money!”


If you’re “busy”, you have a lot of work to do: “I’m really busy at work.

To wind down

If a situation “winds down”, it becomes more relaxed and less stressful: “I hope things will wind down soon.”

Video conversation

1 First viewing

You’re going to watch two people talking about a meeting at work. Watch the video once and answer this question: How would you describe their attitude to the meeting?

Their attitude is…

  1. a) a bit negative b) fairly positive c) completely neutral
2 Second viewing
Watch the video again. Then, complete the sentences with the correct words.  [answers below]
  1. So, what happened in the _______?
  2. What were the main _______?
  3. We all have to be a little more _______ than we have been.
  4. …but it went on for, like, _______ hours.
  5. I think we’re going to be pretty _______ for the next few months.
  6. I hope so too, especially around the _______.


PS It’s important to watch the video once without stopping. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything – just try to get the gist of what they say (a general understanding of it). This will really help with your listening skills.

Watching & reading!

Now watch the video and read the script (see below) at the same time. This is great for your listening skills!


Now talk with a friend or classmate about a meeting you attended (real or invented). Make notes and try to use as much of the new language as you can.

Video script
Gemma: So, what happened in the meeting?
Tracy: It went on for ages.
G: It always does, it always does. So, what was, what were the main
T: Well, they were kind of getting on to us for cutting corners and not putting in a lot of effort at work which, personally, I don’t agree with, but apparently this new contract they’re working on, it’s very high stakes. So, we all have to be a little more motivated than we have been.
G: Of course, but we are. God, they talk about cutting corners at every meeting.
T: I know, and the president came in and he was just talking for… going on and on about how we need to come up with more proposals and that we need to just be working more together, building our relationships… it was just a lot of the same thing, but it went on for, like, three hours.
G: Yeah, well I hope this new client comes through though, I mean I think they’re going to be a good one, but…
T: …yeah, I think so too, I think we’re going to be pretty busy for the next few months but hopefully things wind down after that.
G: Yeah, I hope so too, especially around the holidays.
T: Ah, you’re telling me.

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1 First viewing

  1. a) = a bit negative

2 Second viewing

  1. meeting; 2. points; 3. motivated; 4. three; 5. busy; 6. holidays


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