Have you ever sat in a meeting at work and felt like you wanted to contribute but weren’t sure how?
Maybe you wanted to summarize at the end of the meeting or maybe a colleague kept interrupting you and you needed a sentence to prevent the interruption and make your point.
If you have been in any of these situations, this post will help! You will find ways to interrupt politely, prevent an interruption, close the meeting, ask for clarification and summarize the main points.
When we refer to “the Chair”, we mean the chairperson. The chairperson is the person who will outline the purpose of the meeting and remind members why they are there, as well as ensure it runs to time. They will also manage interruptions and participation.
Interrupting a meeting – the Chair
Ok, Bhavia, if I could just quickly interrupt you there…
Dave, sorry to interrupt but I’d like to hear some other views on this.
If I could just stop you there for a second.
Interrupting a meeting – the participants
When you are participating in a meeting, you might want or need to add your point of view and interrupt. Here are some formal and more casual ways of doing this:
Formal and polite ways to interrupt
Can I share an idea?
I would like to add something.
Can I add…
I don’t mean to interrupt, but …
Excuse me, I’d like to say something.
Sorry to hold the meeting up, but…
Casual ways to interrupt
Wait, what about_____
One quick thing…..
Just let me say…
Just one thing…
Can I say something?
Just a minute…
I’d like to make a point.
Can I come in here?
Do you mind if I just come in here?
Could I interrupt you for a moment?
May I just add something here?
While we’re on the subject, I’d like to say…
I do feel quite strongly that…
How to interrupt to ask for clarification
Would you mind clarifying this point?
Sorry, but could you outline the main points again?
I’m not sure I understood your point about…
Sorry, could you repeat that please?
Preventing an interruption – the Chair
Just a moment, Pauline. I’ll come back to you in a minute.
One at a time, please.
Please let her finish what she was saying.
Preventing an interruption – the participants
Actually, if you could just let me finish…
Just let me finish, if you wouldn’t mind…
Actually, I’ve nearly finished…
How to keep the meeting on time
We’re running out of time.
Unfortunately, we don’t have anymore time to spend on this issue.
Ok, everyone, we’re almost out of time.
We are getting really behind schedule.
How to summarize the discussion
Sometimes, it is necessary to refocus the discussion taking place and briefly summarize important points. Here are some ways you can do this:
Can you go into further detail on this please?
I’m not sure if I’ve fully understood the main points here…
Could you summarise the main points of this discussion, please?
Would you mind summing up what you’ve just said?
So, in a nutshell, what you’re saying is…..
How to close a meeting
When a meeting is winding down, either the Chair or a participant, if there is no chairperson present, will begin closing the meeting by using one of the following sentences, by asking the participants to come to a decision, assigning tasks and, maybe, organizing a follow-up meeting.
We have to bring this to a close.
I think we’ve covered everything.
I don’t think there’s anything else left.
Ok. That’s everything on the agenda.
Does anyone have anything else before we finish?
Is there any other business?
Are there any final questions?
Ok. Let’s finish there. Thank you all for coming and I’ll see you again the next week.
It’s getting late. Let’s call it a day.
How to ask for a decision
I really would like a decision before we close the meeting.
Can we come to a decision before we leave?
Are we all ready to make a decision?
How to confirm and assign tasks
John, you’re going the report on…
Maria, you’ll get the data and email it to me before the end of the week?
Olivia, you’ll sort out the arrangements for the next meeting?
How to set up the next meeting
Let’s set a time for our next meeting.
Is tomorrow a convenient day for our next meeting?
I’ll confirm the date and lcoation of our next meeting by email.
I’ll email you the time of our next meeting.