10 Unbelievably Useful Phrases for Business Meetings

A man giving a business presentation in English to professional colleagues

Learning English Business Meeting Vocabulary

Business meetings can be challenging at the best of times, but if English is not your first language, phrases, idioms and words used in a business context can make things even more confusing.

Business meeting vocabulary has its own specific set of phrases, idioms and words. Learning useful phrases for business meetings can be helpful when developing your English for business and the workplace.

Here are ten commonly used and incredibley useful phrases for business meetings to get you started.

Get Down to Business

A man leads a professional business meeting in English using useful phrases for business meetings.
“Let’s get down to business and learn some useful phrases for business meetings!”

This idiom means to begin to work on or focusing on a particular job or task. It is often used outside of a business context to mean begin an activity or serious discussion.

In the context of a business meeting, people might use this phrase when they are ready to transition from small talk or less important matters to begin discussing the main reason for a business meeting.

“Thanks for being here today, let’s get down to business and address the first issue on today’s agenda.”

Circle Back

To revisit an idea or conversation after allowing some time for some development or change in a situation.

That could be a great strategy! Why don’t you record your results and we will circle back to this in one month and see how it went!

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is the last line on a financial statement that indicates if something is profitable or not.

“We have to look at the bottom line. Event though we are selling a lot of units our costs have risen and we aren’t making any profit.”

This idiom can also be used in the broader sense to draw attention to the most important aspect of something

The bottom line is our costs are too high!”

Get the Ball Rolling

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“We can get the ball rolling with some common and useful phrases for business meetings!”

Another idiom that can be used to encourage people to begin some task or activity. When we think about this idiom we can imagine the most effort is required to begin an acivity. After that the process should become easier. In this way, we are asking people to invest an effort in beginning something.

Can your team get the ball rolling on this new marketing campaign by brainstorming some new slogans?

Back to the Drawing Board / Back to Square One

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Back to the drawing board to come up with more useful phrases for business meetings

To re-start something from the beginning or planning stage.

“Well, this solution didn’t work. Let’s go back to the drawing board and think of some other ideas.”

I thought that the client would love our proposal, but they asked us to do the whole proposal again! We are back to square one.”

Hands are Tied

When our hands are tied we are prevented from doing or choosing what we want because of something out of control.

“I would love to increase the offer but our budget is exhausted so my hands are tied.

Long Shot

basketball player about to shoot
A long shot is a goal, aim or opportunity that doesn’t have a high chance of success.

A long shot is a goal, aim, or opportunity that is difficultult to achieve and doesn’t have much chance of success. Sometimes it is also associated with a goal that will have a big payoff or reward.

“Signing this big client is a long shot in a competitive market, but if we can do it the pay off will be great!”

All on the Same Page

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We agree that these are some very useful phrases for business meetings, so we are all on the same page.

To be all on the same page means that a group of people all have a shared understanding or agreement about something.

“Now that everyone has heard the proposal, are we all on the same page that this is the best way to move forward?”

Crunch the Numbers

To crunch the numbers means to do some calculations to better understand some figures, data or statistics.

“This cost analysis looks very thorough, give us some time to crunch the numbers and see if it is feasible.”

In a Nut Shell

This means to explain something in the simplest and shortest way possible.

“We have the results for the last quarter. There is a lot of information, but, in a nutshell, we need to increase our sales.”


Looking for more tips and phrases for business English? Check out these useful phrases for business emails and letters.


Do you have a question or a comment about these useful phrases for business meetings? Let us know in the comments below!


To start developing your English for business correspondence get in touch with SpeakWell Business English today. We can create a custom made course to specifically target increasing your business communication skills today!


Looking for more resources with useful phrases for business meetings? Pick up a copy of Business English Vocabulary Builder: Powerful Idioms, Sayings and Expressions to Make You Sound Smarter in Business!


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