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Learn English: How to Speak up at a Meeting or ‘get your word in edgeways’

Sitting in on a meeting when the conversation is not in your native language and trying to join in can be one of the most nerve-racking and frustrating situations in your working life. We completely understand the problem: by the time you have thought of what to say, the subject has changed; you are so busy listening and understanding that you don’t have time to formulate your sentence; you think you might sound abrupt or rude if you interrupt; people speak so quickly that there is no opportunity to ‘get your word in edgeways’.

We have put together your essential ‘speaking up’ phrases. Take them with you to every meeting and have them at your fingertips. You will be able to interrupt a conversation politely and with respect…your colleagues will stop listen to you. Give them a try!

  • Could I just come in here? / Could I just add / mention….?
  • Could I perhaps mention……
  • Excuse me, Can I jump in here for a moment?
  • I see what you mean, but …….
  • Well, I agree up to a point, but …..
  • Yes, that may be true but ……
  • Sorry to interrupt and I completely agree with what you are saying but …..
  • Excuse me for interrupting here, but I feel it is important to mention that…..
  • I’m sorry to just come in here, but I have been wondering……


Adding a ‘hedging’ word (possibly / perhaps/ reasonably / probably) can help you to sound softer, more approachable and not in the least bit arrogant.


We could go ahead with  ……..                  We could possibly go ahead with …..

It is better to……..                                            It is perhaps better to …..

We could expect…….                                      We could reasonably expect…..

They will decide to ……                                   They will probably decide to ……..


Try them! They work wonders!


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