Study advises on best words to use in a business meeting

A very specific set of words and phrases should be used in a business meeting if leaders are looking to have their proposals accepted at the end of the event, reports

That’s according to a new study that suggests presentations and handshakes should be swept under the carpet in favour of five words: “yeah,” “give,” “start,” “meeting” and “discuss.”

Reported by Cynthia Rudin, a professor in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, and MIT student Been Kim undertook an investigation into the impact of certain words during meetings.

They found workers who used the above words while presenting at meeting venues or in the in-house boardroom ended up with more accepted proposals.

However, those in meetings should be careful when paying compliments as compliments that follow negative assessments are seen a ‘disingenuous’.

Rudin commented on the study: “The study of meetings is important, yet challenging, because it requires an understanding of many social signals and complex interpersonal dynamics.

“The word ‘meeting’ is used in suggestions about what not to discuss. For instance, someone might say, “Maybe this is for the next meeting,” as a way of gently moving the topic forward onward without causing offence. That suggestion was almost always accepted,” she added.