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December 3, 2019

Formal vocabulary for business meetings

Formal vocabulary to use in a meeting

Hello there. Do you want to sound more formal in your next business meeting? Do you get confused knowing when you need to use more formal expressions? Do you often wonder what type of expressions you should use and how to and when to use them? 

Firstly, If you have answered yes to any of these questions then you will be happy to know that I am going to answer them all for you today.

Secondly, In this week's episode of the Art of Business English we look at 10 formal words and expressions that you can use in your next business meeting to sound more formal. 

Thirdly, using formal vocabulary can make you sound more professional and better educated. Best of all, today's vocabulary is all B2 or upper-intermediate level, which means that it is pretty easy to understand and start using. 

Finally, to make life even easier, I am going to give you the less formal synonym and an example sentence so you can put it into content.

Let's dive straight in. 


Formal words for meetings


Less formal synonym: 

  • Get

Example sentence:

We will need to increase our online marketing budget if we are to acquire more qualified leads.


Less formal synonym: 

  • Stop

Example sentence:

We must cease spending so much or we could face a liquidity crisis. 

At your convenience 

Less formal synonym: 

  • When you can

Example sentence:

I would like you to send me a report on this matter at your earliest convenience. 


Less formal synonym: 

  • Obvious

Example sentence:

It has become evident to me that we should be paying more attention to our competitors if we are to stay in the game. 

In view of

Less formal synonym: 

  • All in all

Example sentence:

In view of the disappointing sales figures, I feel we need to rethink our approach to the next quarter´s sales strategy.

Note something down

Less formal synonym: 

  • Jot down

Example sentence:

I’ll just note that last point down and when I have time I will send you a more detailed response. 


Less formal synonym: 

  • Buy

Example sentence:

I would like a report on our inventory after the last round of purchases. We need up-to-date records. 

In reference to

Less formal synonym: 

  • Based on

Example sentence:

In reference to the point you mentioned earlier, I feel we could deliver the project on time if we were allocated more resources. 


Less formal synonym: 

  • Say

Example sentence:

Could everyone please state their preference for the time and date of the next meeting?

Regret + inf/Gerund

Less formal synonym: 

  • Sorry

Example sentence:

I regret to inform everyone that we have to make some cuts to the team, and we will be asking some of you to leave the company.

I regret making that decision now. In hindsight it was not very well thought out. 

Watch the episode here

Final thoughts

In conclusion, as I am sure you will agree, knowing which formal expressions and when to use them is an incredibly important and powerful tool in improving your performance in business meetings. 

My advice is to note down your favourite three expressions and decide when and where you will start using them in your next business interaction. It might be easier to use them in written format first and then plan on which one you will use orally in a meeting. 

Don't forget to watch the video if you want to see a more visual learning experience. Furthermore, sign up for a free membership and you can download a free copy of the presentation below. 

Confidence in Business Meetings

Do you get embarrassed when you need to attend a meeting in English? Maybe you feel frustrated when you can't express yourself clearly. Do you want to be invisible in a meeting, hoping that you won't need to answer any questions?

If you would like to learn how to confidently participate in meetings that lead to successful outcomes and more business for you and your company, then I've got the answer.

Do you want to quickly improve your English?

If you're serious about improving your English then take one of our online courses. The Art of Business English University offers a wide range of English language courses for all levels.  

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Andrew is the CEO and founder of the Art of Business English. Besides teaching and coaching native Spanish speakers in Business English, he is also passionate about mountain biking, sailing and healthy living. When He is not working, Andrew loves to spend time with his family and friends.

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