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Listen to three people talking about meetings at work and decide which person speaks positively about company meetings.

Listen   Listen   Listen


Listen again and match the statements to the people. Follow the example:

Example: The meeting is very noisy   Answers
1. Decisions were taken before the meeting began  
2. The meeting finishes late  
3. The meetings are quite disciplined  
4. The agenda isn’t usually followed  
5. Refreshments are served at the meeting  
6. This person does other things during the meeting.  

Listen again and read the transcription.



Our company meetings remind me of repeats of old T.V. comedy programmes. It’s always the same people arguing with each other and trying to impress the boss. In fact, it’s quite common to have 5 or 6 people talking at the same time, so nobody’s really listening to other people’s opinions and ideas.
Most of the younger, ambitious executives only seem to be interested in criticizing people from other departments. Nobody ever admits to making a mistake and the chairman’s quite happy to talk about things that are not on the agenda. This means he meeting often runs over time and we have to stay at the office one or sometimes two hours extra on Friday afternoons.

Our manager always lets us have a copy of the agenda a couple of days before the meeting so that we can prepare figures, reports and questions. He controls the meetings very carefully and they usually start and finish on time, which is good.
We nearly always cover the whole agenda, and by the end of the meeting I’m quite sure what the action plan is and what everyone’s expected to do before we all meet again.
Our meetings are not always in our manager’s office. We rotate. Sometimes we meet in my office, occasionally in Jan’s….er… our personnel manager’s office. But the best thing is the wonderful selection of cakes, pastries and biscuits that our manager provides for everyone. If the meeting is relatively short, and you have a great slice of chocolate cake and fresh coffee, how can you complain?

Management do their best to give the impression that everyone’s opinion is valued and that they are open to suggestions and ideas from the staff. But the truth of the matter is that the boss already knows what she wants to do because she decided before the meeting even started.
Our meetings are so long and boring. I always use the time to make a shopping list or have a quick game of cards on my laptop. There’s no point saying anything because nobody ever listens and nothing ever changes. We might just as well be talking to a brick wall.


To hold a meeting: celebrar una reunión
To open the meeting: comenzar la reunión
To close the meeting: terminar la reunión

Annual General Meeting (UK) / Annual Stockholders Meeting (USA): Asamblea General Anual.
Board meeting: Consejo de administración
Business meeting: Reunión de negocios
Staff meeting: Reunión de personal
Team meeting: Reunión del equipo de trabajo
Briefing: Reunión informativa
Extraordinary General Meeting: Junta General Extraordinaria

“I have left orders to be woken up at any time in case of a national emergency, even if I’m in a cabinet meeting.”
Ronald Reagan

“Football is a mistake. It combines the two worst elements of American life; violence and committee meetings.”
George F. Will

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