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Stating facts and giving reasons in meetings

Don’t you hate sharing problems with your boss? Even in your native language, talking about problems and stating the facts of a situation can be hard, never mind in another language. In fact, sometimes it can be hard to find the right words to give reasons for the issues that are being faced.

Well, today I am going to help you overcome this difficult part of business meetings by sharing with you a wide range of expressions that you can put into use. I’ve divided this lesson into three parts, firstly, expressions for stating facts, outlining the issues and providing reasons. Secondly, how to build an argument and finally, inviting others to respond.

Below, you can watch the video of this lesson and feel free to register for a free members account to download the PDF with all the vocabulary to help you study. 

Watch the episode here

Stating facts and giving reasons


"This call is to bring you up to date on …"

"How things stand …"

"We’re on schedule / budget"

"We may go behind schedule / over budget"

"It looks as if …"

"I need to put you in the picture on …"

"We are facing a number of problems / issues"

"The main problem is …"

"What we are finding is that … "

"The budget won’t stretch to cover … which means …"

"We’re unlikely to …"

"We are in this situation because "

"Looking at the situation realistically … "

Pro Tips

When you have to present a problem, it’s a good idea to first reassure the participants that the project is not in danger

If you need to present a problem, think about how the other attendees might react. What things can we say to reassure them?

In a phone or video-based meeting without any face-to-face contact, prepare and write down what you want to say before the call

Building an argument


"Look, let me outline …"

"What we could do is …"

"I think it will be good to …"

"I propose we go down this path …"

"I feel it would be wise to … "

"What I am suggesting is that we consider these options … "

Pro Tips

It’s a good idea to have an alternative solution ready when delivering bad news

Try and attach some reasons (arguments) to your solutions or suggestions

Use language that shows a reason, e.g. due to, since, because of

Use language that shows a result e.g. as a result of , therefore, too (much/many)

Inviting responses


"Have you got any suggestions? "

"How will this impact on …?"

"What are your feelings on this?"

"How do you see the situation?"

"What’s your take on that?"

Pro Tips

When delivering bad news, it is important to give participants an opportunity to express their reactions

Be ready to listen carefully, don’t think about what you are going to say next

Be ready for some anger or frustration

Use language that transmits empathy e.g. I understand your frustration, I can see you’re upset

Model answer

Hi everyone, this meeting is to bring you up to date on the Livain Project and how things stand at the moment.

Unfortunately we may go behind schedule. Now, before we go any further, I want to let you know that we are in this situation because of delays with our supplier.

Due to the Corona Virus we are unable to get shipments out of China. However, let me outline a few solutions.

Firstly, we have been in contact with some potentially new suppliers out of Vietnam. Secondly, we have also informed the client and we are actively managing their expectations. We are hopeful that we can get back on schedule.

Have you got any additional suggestions?

Final thoughts

So, next time you are in a meeting and you need to deliver some bad news, be sure to follow this model. As you can see from the model answer, with the correct expressions creating a template and framework you can confidently deliver bad news and work towards providing a solution.

Let me know what you think below in the comments section. Are there any other areas of meetings that you find difficult to do confidently? What expressions from today’s list do you find the most helpful?

See you all next week.

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.

Subscribe and listen for free

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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.

Andrew Ambrosius

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