By Simon Kennell on Jun 14, 2022 9:40:56 AM
As you may already know, strong openings are key to productive meetings. But so are closings. Knowing how to end a meeting will help you make sure everyone is on the same page, clarify action items, and get everyone excited about the next steps. In this episode, we show you three key elements you should include to close a meeting effectively.
If you go back to the previous episode where we talked about opening meetings, you will find three main points - clarity, organization, and action items. It turns out, ending a meeting is fairly similar. When you close a meeting, you want to provide clarity and make sure everybody is clear on what needs to happen. You also want to clearly communicate action items and who is in charge of them. And finally, you want to leave the team with energy and motivation. You want to leave a meeting on a positive note.
Summarize the main meeting ideas
When you are coming to the end of the meeting, summarize the main concepts. What should everyone remember after the meeting? Review the key concepts and remind participants what they discussed during the meeting. If your agenda includes desired outcomes, go over them to ensure you accomplished all the tasks.
Phrases to summarize meeting points:
- To wrap up, we covered...
- To sum up, we’ve talked about…
- It’s getting close on time, so let's put a pin in this here.
- Here are some of the main points we discussed today.
- I would like to briefly cover the topics we mentioned today.
- Before we finish, let’s go over everything we talked about today.
- Let’s quickly summarize the main points of today’s meeting.
Okay, everyone, we're coming to the end of the meeting. Now, to wrap up, we covered the big three points about the marketing project for next quarter. And as well, we went over the sales figures for the last month.
Leave time for questions
You may also leave time for questions to help clarify information. Depending on the type of meeting and goals, you may want to ask if anyone has anything else to add. This will increase participation and leave space for further discussions.
- Pro tip: Try shifting the Yes/No question "Does anybody have any questions?" to the open-ended version, "What questions do you have for me?".
2. Action Items
Assign tasks to specific attendees with due dates
After providing clarity, get into your action items. The action items are the specific assignments you have decided on or the agreements that you've made during the meeting. Action items should be tied to specific people and due dates. They should be clear and understood by everyone in the room, but most importantly by the person who is in charge of them.
Try to use "we" to evoke and encourage collaboration. And always confirm that designees are up to the task and that everyone is in agreement.
So as we discussed, James, you'll take this marketing task. And Hannah, you said that you'll be able to work on the other section. We're all on the same page here, right?
Offer help to meeting participants
Do your participants have everything they need to complete their action items? What information do they need? Where should they go if they have questions? One way to make sure that people have what they need to complete their assignments is to simply ask, “Do you have everything you need to move forward with this task?”
You can also remind attendees where they can go to find the information from the meeting. For example, you might email the meeting agenda and next steps to all attendees or post the presentation online. If you are sharing resources after the meeting, tell the attendees where and how they can access the information. You can also let them know that they can approach you if they have any questions ("My door is always open if you need help on this. Just let me know.").
Thank the meeting participants
Before you wrap up, acknowledge any good ideas and participation. You can do it in general, addressing all the participants as one, or individually, if a specific person made excellent contributions.
Phrases for showing appreciation in a meeting:
- Thank you all for your time today.
- I would like to thank everyone for coming today.
- I want to thank everybody for a productive meeting.
- I would like to thank you all for sharing your ideas today.
I want to thank everybody for a productive meeting. And, James, by the way, I just want to say a big thank you for making that point about the marketing task and the importance of that. Great job! Hannah, really good job with the presentation today. I thought the figures were awesome.
Host Effective Meetings in English
The beginning and the end are fundamental parts of any meeting. To open a meeting, allow a few minutes for some small talk, welcome and thank everyone for joining, and follow up on the points from the previous meeting. Make sure you provide context (why we you meeting?), set very clear objectives or goals for what you want to accomplish, and end with a clear roadmap of all the different points that you will be covering throughout the meeting. To close a meeting effectively, provide clarity by summarizing the main meeting ideas and clarifying any questions, agree on the action items and due dates, and end with energy, on a positive note, by thanking the participants.
This article works as supporting material for our podcast episode 52. You can read the transcript below. Make sure you check out all our other Talaera Talks episodes and subscribe to get new episode alerts.
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Talaera Talks - Transcript Episode 52
If you are learning English, including new English words and expressions will help you with effective communication. Remember to check out our other episodes on how to make small talk, how to deliver engaging presentations, how to speak English fluently, and many more: visit the podcast website. Listen to it on your favorite platform.
Welcome to Talaera Talks, the business English communication podcast for non-native professionals. My name is Paola and I am co-hosting this show with Simon. In this podcast, we're going to be covering communication advice and tips to help express yourself with confidence in English in professional settings. So we hope you enjoy the show!
Simon Kennell 0:24
Welcome back, everyone, for another Talaera Bit. My name is Simon. And as always, I hope weherever you are you're having a great day.
Simon Kennell 0:36
So today is the second part of a previous Talaera Bit that I recorded about opening meetings. Today, we're going to do the closing section. So how do we end meetings? Well, if you go back to the previous episode, where we talked about opening meetings, the big points that I focused on were clarity, organization and action items. Well, it's pretty much very similar in the ending a meeting section actually. If we look at what our goals for ending a meeting are, they really come down to clarity. So everybody is clear on what needs to happen. Action Items, what are the specific items that I need to do after this meeting is over. And then we want to leave the team with some energy with some motivation, we want to leave on a positive note, you can say. So we always want to leave a meeting, end the meeting on a positive note. So we're going to go over these three sections clarity, action items, and energy. How do we do this? Well, when we're talking about clarity, we coming to the end of the meeting, right? We want to summarize, and there's a couple of phrases we can use to do that. Okay, everyone, we're coming to the end of the meeting. Now, to wrap up, we covered the big three points about the marketing project for next quarter. And as well, we went over the sales figures for the last month. Okay, so that phrase I use there, to wrap up, we covered XY and Z, you can also use something like this.
Simon Kennell 2:29
It's getting close on time, everyone. So let's put a pin in it here. And then we'll end it for today. Just to summarize, we covered X, Y, and Z. Okay, so I use the phrase, it's getting close on time, which means it's getting close to the end of our time. Let's put a pin in this here. So that means let's pause here. Let's, let's stop here for now. And we'll come back to the discussion that we're having at our next meeting. Still, if you use this, you want to summarize. Now after summarizing, we want to get into our action items, and action items or the specific items that we give to people right or the agreements that we've made. So this is usually specific people with due dates. So those are the two, John will do x by next meeting, which is in two weeks. Right? So this is the the big points. So we can say something like this. So as we discussed, James, you'll take this marketing task. And Hannah, you said that you'll be able to work on the other section. We're all on the same page here, right? Okay, so I'm using a lot of we, as we discussed, James, you'll take the marketing task. And Hannah, we discussed that you'll work on the other section. Are we all in agreement here? So we want to leave it that there's a very clear agreement, James and Hannah both say yes.
Simon Kennell 4:06
And now we want to specify the time. And as we discussed, we want to have this in time for our next meeting two weeks from today, right? Again, we're looking for them to give that yes, that attendee that yes, that it's going to be done within two weeks. And then as well with action items, you want to offer your help if needed. Well, listen, my door is always open. If you need help on this, just let me know. Okay. So that expression, my door is always open. If you need help on this, just let me know.
Simon Kennell 4:43
Now, finally, we want to end with energy. We've summarized the main points the main ingredients of our meeting today, we've discussed specific action items that we want to take, and we talked about who will do these points and
Simon Kennell 5:00
When they will be done. And now we want to get to the energy we want to leave on a good note. So one way you can do this is if you have any acknowledgments that good things that happened throughout the meetings or great points that were brought up, you want to specifically add not acknowledged those. And this is a great part to, to really push that employee appreciation that we've talked about recently. So you could say something like, James, by the way, I just want to say a big thank you for making that point about the marketing task and and the importance with that. So great job, Hannah, really good job. With the presentation today. I thought the figures were awesome.
Simon Kennell 5:42
That's it for today. A great meeting today, everyone. Thank you. I think we covered really a lot of important items. So thank you all and have a great weekend. Okay, so I used some acknowledgments. They're very specific, talked about what I really liked. And I said, All right, great meeting today, everyone, we covered a lot of important items. So it gives that good feeling that we've made some progress. Thank you all and have a great weekend. Now you can also rephrase it to give an opportunity if there are any other suggestions. So you can say something like, great meeting today, everyone, I think we covered a lot of really important items. Before we wrap up. Is there anything anybody else wanted to discuss? No. Okay, great. Thank you all and have a great weekend. Okay, so then we wrapped it up really nice with some good energy. And we thank everybody for their time. So to wrap up, I'm wrapping up our podcast here today, we talked about clarity, right. So using expressions to summarize big topics and agreements. To wrap up, let's put a pin in it here. We talked about action items, we want to be very, very clear on the specific things that people will do the individuals, and when they will get them done by and we want to ensure that everybody is agreed on this, as well. You want to offer your help with their and then with energy, right, we want to end on a great note. So we want to acknowledge and give some appreciation to anybody that's really showed something very nice in the meeting or something earlier, perhaps, and then ending with a nice send off message. Have a great weekend. Have a great week. We'll see you at our next meeting in two weeks. Okay, so as always, take these notes, you know, practice them and your next meeting, if you're leading a meeting, the important points really are clarity, action items, and that good energy to leave a meeting on a positive note. So that is it for me today. As always, I hope wherever you are, you have a great rest of your day. Remember to use these and practice, practice, practice and as always, keep learning.
And that's all we have for you today. We hope you enjoyed it, and remember to subscribe to Talaera Talks. We'll be back soon with more! And visit our website at talaera.com for more valuable content on business English. You can also request a free consultation on the best ways for you and your team to improve your communication skills. So have a great day and keep learning!