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Meetings: interruptions

Introduction

In business meetings it is sometimes necessary to interrupt a speaker. This is possible but it should be done politely. We'll be looking at some ways you can do this.

Think

Imagine that you are in a meeting, and you want to interrupt to ask a question or make a comment. How might you do it?

Listen

Now listen to an audio clip from a meeting in a publishing company. Sean is talking about a book re-launch when John feels that he needs to ask something. As you listen, see if you can hear some of the phrases above.


Check understanding

Check your understanding by reading the script below:

Sean: First of all, the book re-launch. I just wanted to remind everybody that we will be re-launching the fairy-tales range with new modern covers, and that this is going to happen at the beginning of next month. It's important that we get this right and there have been quite a few…
John: Actually Sean, can I just ask yousorry to hold the meeting up – can I ask you about those dates, because I thought that this was going to be published the month after next, and I understand that everybody has got their dates, but I do feel quite strongly that we’re bringing this out too soon.
Sean:Well, any other thoughts before I comment on that?
Carrie:I don’t think we’ve got any choice at all about it. If the radio programmes are going out at the beginning of next month, we’ve got to launch the book at the same time if we’re going to have any sales impact.

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Language Expert

Our expert explains more about disagreeing and interrupting in business meetings.