In today's business world, conference calls are a ubiquitous means of communication. With so many meetings being conducted virtually, it's more important than ever to communicate effectively in a virtual environment. This is especially true if English is not your first language. In this blog post, we'll introduce you to 10 expressions that will help you be more efficient in your virtual meetings.
10 Essential Expressions For Better Communication During Virtual Meetings
1. "Can everyone hear me okay?"
This is a fantastic opening question for a virtual meeting because it ensures that everyone can hear and sets a positive and inclusive tone right from the start. By asking this question, you create an opportunity for participants to engage and share their current state, fostering a sense of connection and camaraderie. Don't hesitate to ask this question, even if you've already tested the audio beforehand, as it allows for a personal touch and demonstrates your genuine interest in the well-being of all attendees.
2. "Let's table that topic for later."
During a virtual meeting, it's common to veer off-topic. When a participant introduces a tangential point, it can be beneficial to politely suggest, "Let's table that topic for later, as it may divert our attention from the agenda and hinder our progress. We can address it at a more appropriate time to ensure we stay focused and accomplish our goals efficiently." This approach helps maintain the meeting's productivity and ensures that important matters are addressed in a timely manner.
3. "Could you speak up a bit, please?"
Sometimes, in the realm of virtual meetings, the audio quality may leave something to be desired, causing a challenge in comprehending what others are saying. In such instances, if you find yourself struggling to catch someone's words, it is advisable to politely request them to speak up a bit, ensuring a smoother and more effective communication experience.
4. "I'm sorry, could you repeat that?"
Misunderstandings can easily occur in virtual meetings, especially when communication is limited to audio or video. When you're not sure about something someone has said, it's always best to ask them to repeat it. This simple step can help avoid confusion and ensure that everyone is on the same page. By actively seeking clarification, you can foster better understanding and effective communication in virtual meetings.
5. "Could you clarify what you mean by that?"
In virtual meetings, misunderstandings can easily arise due to the lack of non-verbal cues. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that all participants have a clear understanding of the discussed topics. To foster effective communication, it is advisable to use this expression to politely request clarification whenever there is uncertainty about someone's intended message. By actively seeking clarification, we can minimize misunderstandings and promote a more productive and collaborative virtual meeting environment.
6. "Can I build on that point?"
If someone has just made a thought-provoking point that you'd like to delve deeper into, you can gracefully employ this expression to expand upon it. It's a tactful and considerate approach to contributing to the ongoing conversation while ensuring that the speaker's flow is not interrupted. This technique allows for a more comprehensive exploration of the topic at hand, fostering a richer and more engaging discussion.
7. "Let's wrap this up."
In the context of virtual meetings, where time is often limited and schedules are packed, it becomes crucial to effectively manage time and ensure that the meeting does not exceed its allocated duration. One effective way to signal the conclusion of the meeting, wrap up the ongoing discussion, and transition to concluding remarks and next steps, is by using the phrase "Let's wrap this up." This simple yet polite and professional expression serves as a subtle cue to bring the meeting to a close, while also respecting the time and commitments of all participants.
8. "Let's take a quick break."
Virtual meetings can be quite exhausting, especially when they extend for a long duration. To alleviate the fatigue and provide everyone with a rejuvenating break, you can use this simple yet effective expression to signal that it's time for a quick pause to recharge and refocus before continuing the productive session.
9. "I think we've covered everything."
This is a great closing remark for a virtual meeting. It effectively conveys that the objectives of the meeting have been successfully achieved, all the necessary discussions and decisions have been made, and everyone can now conclude the meeting with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. It serves as a clear signal that the meeting has officially come to an end, allowing participants to proceed with their next tasks and responsibilities.
10 ."I'm sorry, I have to drop off early."
If you need to leave a virtual meeting early, it's crucial to communicate your departure to ensure everyone is informed. By politely using the following expression, you can excuse yourself from the meeting gracefully and avoid any confusion or disruption: "I apologize for the interruption, but I have a prior commitment that I must attend to. Thank you all for your understanding and cooperation."
Meeting virtually has become part of the new normal. Through practice and mastering the right words and expressions to use, you can ensure that everyone in the meeting is on the same page. Our 10 expressions will help make virtual meetings more efficient by providing structure, encouraging engagement, and summarizing agreements.
To sharpen these skills even further, download Loop English, which offers business-specific language courses. With the knowledge acquired through this platform and mastery of these key expressions, you can participate confidently and effectively in virtual meetings – setting yourself up for success and making a great impression!