Must Have Phrases For Zoom Meetings

We all know 2020 was the year of Zoom and that line, you’re on mute. You’re on mute, and 2021 isn’t very different is it So it’s no surprise that over the last several months I’ve received quite a few requests on Zoom etiquette in English, and what are effective phrases you can use to have a successful discussion on video conferencing platforms. So whether you’ve been tasked with leading a business meeting on a video conferencing platform, or maybe you’ve decided to organize a group of friends to listen to some English podcasts and then talk about them, and you’re going to be using something like Zoom to do that, today’s confident English lesson is for you. If you don’t already know, I’m Anne-Marie with Speak Confident English. Everything I do is designed to help you get the confidence you want for your life and work in English. That definitely includes conversations on video conferencing platforms and making sure you know exactly what to say no matter what happens. By the end of this Confident English lesson today, not only will you have a better grasp of zoom etiquette overall, but you’ll also have essential phrases that will help you minimize technical issues, handle interruptions, and take control of any situation that may come up successfully.
To help give a structure or a framework for this video today, we’re going to look at seven different phases of a typical video conferencing meeting or different scenarios that may arise that require some effective phrases to help ensure smooth communication. So again, whether you’re leading a business meeting or you’re participating in an English conversation in a Zoom classroom, let’s start first with what to do at the beginning to prepare for a successful discussion. Before you even get started, there are definitely steps you can take to help minimize the potential for technical disruptions during the conversation. If you are the one leading the discussion, of course, you want to test the software, your microphone, your video, everything related to the video conferencing platform before the meeting starts. In addition to that, you should ask your participants to do the same, and there are two ways you can do that in a very polite way.
First, you can send a simple, quick email to all of the participants asking them to test the software, their video, and microphone in advance, especially if this is their first time using the particular platform. One very easy sentence you can use in your email as something like, if you’ve never used this video platform before, we’ll open the meeting room early so that you have time to test your microphone and your video before the meeting starts. Secondly, it’s important to follow through with that and make sure that you’re able to open the meeting five or 10 minutes early. Give your participants time to get set up rather than just having a blank screen while your participants join. You could create a slide or an image in advance and share that with your participants so that they see a note that says, we will start our meeting or we will start our discussion right on time.
Please be sure to test your microphone and your video before the meeting starts in addition to making sure everything technicals prepared for in advance. The second thing you can do in this phase is to review the agenda and share that in advance as well. If you have others who will be contributing to the discussion or that you know you will ask to share some key details, let them know in advance, give them time to be prepared so that they can be concise and clear in the meeting. This same rule applies to any effective discussion, so before the meeting, make sure that you take time to consider what the key topics will be. Who will be responsible for talking about those topics or giving updates, and what, if anything will be expected from the participants Are you expecting everyone to participate in the discussion If so, let them know in advance.
The next phase is your welcome and greeting phase plus introductions just like you would do in any professional environment. Definitely start with a greeting. A quick, hello, good morning or good afternoon. If you’re the host of the discussion and there are participants who are new to you, you should definitely introduce yourself at the beginning. The same is true for anyone who may be presenting, speaking, or contributing significantly to the discussion because it’s important to get right to the agenda. You want to make sure that the introductions are quick and concise, so here are two simple formulas to help you do that. If you’re hosting a professional meeting, you could use something like, hi everyone, I’m Anne-Marie, the director of Speak Confident English, and I’ll be your host for the discussion today or Good morning everyone. I’m Lena. I’m a junior analyst at KPMG, and I’ll be leading the discussion today.
Do you notice in both of those, I’m including the name, the title or job position and the organization where someone works. Now, if it’s a more casual discussion, for example, a book club or a podcast listening club, you definitely want something more informal, so rather than focus on your professional background, you’ll probably talk more about where you’re from or some kind of a fun fact. Here are two quick examples. Hey, everyone, I’m Annmarie. I’m from DC and I joined this book club because I love mystery novels. Here’s another one. Hi everyone. I’m Anne Marie. I’m from Washington DC and I love mystery novels. I’ve read everything by Agatha Christie in both scenarios. After you finish your introduction, it’s a great practice to end with something positive. You can keep it simple with something like, I’m happy to join you today. I’m looking forward to our discussion today, or I’m thrilled to be here.
Now, if it makes sense for your particular meeting or discussion, you could ask every participant to introduce him or herself. When you do that, it’s important to tell your participants what they should include in their introduction. It will help keep everyone concise. A great way to do that is with something like, there are some unfamiliar faces here today, so let’s do a quick round of introductions. Then be sure to call on each individual person. This will ensure that the process of introductions flows smoothly. The third scenario in a typical online meeting is establishing ground rules to ensure smooth communication and to help minimize distractions as the host or leader. Not only do you want to demonstrate active listening skills, but you also want to encourage your participants to utilize active listening skills as well. Now, in an online meeting, active listening skills are a bit different in face-to-face conversations.
English speakers love using verbal cues to indicate active listening. You’ll hear a lot of English speakers use things like uhhuh . Mm oh, that’s interesting, right Uhhuh . These cues are fantastic in conversation, but they don’t always work in an online platform. Sometimes they do. It depends on what you’re using, but if everyone’s on mute or if there are too many people in the meeting to utilize verbal cues, you can also encourage your participants to use active body language and utilize other features of your video conferencing platform. For example, on Zoom, there are reactions that people can use to indicate, thumbs up, clapping their hands or other emojis to indicate that they’re an agreement or that they like what someone has said. These are all signs that someone is listening carefully and they’re engaged in the discussion. If you want to encourage your participants to do something like that, here are a few statements you can use.
If you have any questions during the meeting today, the easiest way to let me know is to use the raised hand emoji and don’t hesitate to let others know if you agree or like something that they said by using the clapping hand or a thumbs up. If you have any difficulties or need to leave early, please let us know by sending a quick message in the chat. By sharing all of this upfront, you’re establishing ground rules to help ensure smooth communication and minimizing potential disruptions. Now, just like an online meeting may not be the best place for verbal cues, it may not be the best place for using those reaction emojis either. If you’re giving a presentation to hundreds of people, that might not be the best place to do that, so instead, you can encourage your participants to use visual cues or body language and facial expressions. If you see a hundred faces on zoom, but everybody’s doing this,
How would that make you feel as the speaker It would definitely be uncomfortable, so encourage your participants to turn off other distractions and be focused on the speaker. Lastly, if you’re hosting a meeting that is more of a discussion where you want participants to jump into the conversation, ask questions, share their ideas, tell them that that’s what’s expected to do this, you want to encourage effective turn taking. What that means is that one person is allowed to speak, say everything that they need without interruption, and then it’s the next person’s turn to speak. You can encourage them to do that by using the raised hand emoji so you know who wants to contribute or asking individuals to share a comment in the chat so that you know they want to contribute. Whenever possible, it’s best to avoid interrupting, but sometimes we need to do it.
Now, I have a whole lesson on how to politely interrupt someone on English, but here are three quick ways to do that with all of them. I recommend that you include some kind of a visual cue. We often use our body language to indicate that we’re about to jump in. You’ll see someone lean forward and maybe even put their hand up, something like this, so you might say, I’m so sorry to interrupt, but I’d like to ask a quick question or I’m sorry to interrupt, but I’d like to add one more thing to what you said before we move on. A third example, I apologize for interrupting, but I wanna clarify something that you said. All right, so at this point you’ve prepared in advance, you’ve greeted or welcomed all of your participants. Maybe you’ve led some introductions and you’ve established as effective ground rules to ensure there’s clear communication and you’re minimizing distractions.
The fourth scenario is to practice effective time management. At the beginning, we talked about preparing in advance and providing the agenda. Doing that in advance will ensure a more effective discussion because everyone’s ready to talk about the key issues. Time management also includes that turn taking that we talked about, making sure that your participants know how and when they can best contribute to the conversation From time to time, individuals ask questions that take you away from the main discussion or get you off topic and here’s what you can say to manage this. That’s a great question, but I wanna make sure that we have time to get through our full agenda, so let’s come back to it at the end today. Thanks for asking that question. I’ll make sure that we save time at the end of our meeting today to answer any questions that are outside of the agenda.
Similarly, you want to ensure that no one dominates the conversation or takes the conversation off track. If you notice that someone starts to do that, you can jump in and say something like, that’s a really great idea or that’s a great suggestion. Hold onto that thought because I’d like to come back to it at the end of the discussion today or I appreciate your comments, Sue. That’s a really good point. Let’s see what others have to say on that. And lastly, if you know there’s just a little bit of time left and you still have topics that you need to discuss on your agenda, you can say something like, we are almost at the end of the meeting, so let’s try to get through the last three items. This will help everyone return their focus to the meeting agenda. The fifth scenario that you need to be prepared for is how to handle interruptions because they will happen.
It might be a dog barking, someone at the door knocking a baby, crying construction outside your window, or some unexpected technical issue. When any of those things happen, here are some ways to handle it. I’m so sorry. You’ll have to forgive the noise in the background. Could you come back to me in a moment I need to put myself on mute for a second. If someone interrupts you, you can respond with, sorry, let me finish my thought and then you can go ahead or one moment please. I’d like to mention one more thing before we move on. Sometimes interruptions are caused by technical issues that are completely out of our control, and we may even lose the ability to stay connected to the online meeting. In those situations, it is always a good practice to let everyone know what’s happening. You can send a message in the chat to let everyone know you’re having a technical difficulty or if necessary, send an email.
When you do that, always let them know what you plan to do going ahead. If you’re a participant, you can let the host know that you’ll review the notes. If you’re the host or the leader, you can let them know when you will try to reschedule the meeting. The sixth common scenario for an online meeting is asking other people to wait while you do something. For example, if you’re the host of the meeting, or in my case, if you’re the teacher and you want to share your screen or you have a presentation that you want to share, you’ll often use phrases like, bear with me for a moment. I seem to have lost my presentation slides. Please wait for a moment while I get ready to share my slides. I apologize for the wait. Please give me a moment so that I can share my screen.
Then when others have waited, make sure to thank them for their patience, and you can simply say, thank you so much for waiting, or Thanks for your patience. And finally, to bring a close to effective zoom etiquette and must have phrases is end your meeting or your discussion on a high note. What that means is to end with something positive. If you’re the host of the meeting, you can end by providing a quick summary or highlighting the key takeaways. You can do that with a sentence starter like let’s go over the priorities to summarize. We will, and then give your action steps to quickly recap and then again, give your key takeaways or the key points. After you’ve done that, you can thank everyone for their time with something simple like We got a lot done today. Thank you so much for your time and patience or thanks everyone for coming.
This was a fascinating discussion, and finally, just like you started with a typical greeting you would use in any situation, you can also end with a goodbye, for example. I hope you all have a great weekend. I’ll see you next week or have a great day everyone. And with that, you have over 30 must have phrases for effective online meetings in English. Before we finish, I’d love to hear from you if you’ve hosted, led, or participated in an online meeting. Is there a phrase that you always use that I didn’t mention today If there is, I’d love to know and you can share it with me in the comment section below. If you found today’s lesson useful to you, be sure to give it a thumbs up here on YouTube and subscribe to the Speak Confident English Channel so you never miss one of my Confident English lessons. Thank you so much for joining me today, and I look forward to seeing you next time.

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