- Have you ever been late to work due to the weather? What happened?
- The weather affects the road conditions, public transportation and the traffic. How can you be prepared on days that have bad weather?
- What kind of weather might prevent you from going to work?
- Should you call if you're going to be only a few minutes late?
Rescheduling a Meeting
There are many reasons that you may have to cancel or postpone an
important business meeting. Pretend that there is bad weather and
the roads from your house are flooded. You will not make it on time
to a meeting and you to need to reschedule the meeting. What would
you say? Write your answer here:
If you are running late for a meeting or need to reschedule, you
should call the person directly. If you have to leave a message, you
should, but it's a good idea to try to talk to someone who can pass
along your message. (This could be an administrative assistant or
someone else attending the meeting.)
Canceling a Meeting
I am very sorry, but...
I'm afraid I will not make it to our meeting due to...
Unfortunately, I need to...
I apologize for the inconvenience, but...
Due to..., I will not be able to make it to the meeting.
I need to reschedule our meeting because...
I will need to postpone our meeting...
Find a website that gives you traffic information. Check your route from home to
Dialog - Read the following dialogs and point out what was done well and what
needs improvement. Which one is better?
Ashley: Sue! It's Ashley. I'm stuck in traffic. I was on the highway and there's
a huge wreck. I
tried to exit at Wolfe, but the exit is blocked. I'm going to try another route.
It is raining very hard
and I don't know what to do.
Sue: Okay, Ashley, calm down. Just drive slowly and be careful.
Ashley: Okay, I will. I don't think I'm going to make it to the meeting on time.
Sue: That's okay. What would you like to do?
Ashley: I guess you can hold it without me and talk about the things I was going
Sue: Well, I don't know if I'm very comfortable covering your topics because I
don't know them
Ashley: What else can I do?
Sue: Did you talk to Eric?
Ashley: I couldn't get hold of him.
Sue: Did you ask to speak to his admin?
Ashley: No, I'll try that. I'll call you back.
Ashley: Hello, Sue. This is Ashley. Unfortunately, there has been a wreck on the
to the weather, and I am stuck in traffic.
Sue: OK. Thanks for calling. We were just about to head into the conference room
Ashley: Iím glad I caught you then. I'm afraid it looks like I won't be able to
make it to the
meeting. Do you think we can postpone it for about an hour?
Sue: I don't have a problem with that but did you speak to Eric? I know he
really wants to
present his work today.
Ashley: I left a message on his voicemail. Sue, would you mind letting Eric know
If he would like to hold the meeting without me, I completely understand.
Otherwise, I should
make it to the office in about 30 minutes and would be happy to meet then.
Sue: Sure. Let me talk to him and I will call you right back.
Ashley: Thank you, Sue. I really appreciate your help, and I apologize for the
1. Voice Mail
Ashley is scheduled to attend a meeting at 9:00 am with Eric and Sue. It is 8:45
and because of
the weather and a bad wreck on the highway, she is running very late and will
not make it on
time. Ashley tries to call Eric's cell phone to let him know she will be late.
He doesn't answer.
Write a message she should leave on his voicemail.
Justin double-booked appointments for 8:00 am with his attorney and his
accountant charges a fee for cancellations, so Justin needs to contact his
attorney to reschedule.
Write an email that Justin should send to his attorney asking to reschedule his
3. Telephone Call
Oliver has a lunch meeting at 12:00 pm with a customer, but he has a very bad
toothache and is
going to see his dentist at 11:30 am. He needs to call his customer and ask him
to move the
meeting to a different time. Write down a possible dialog between Oliver and his
Canceling and Rescheduling Meetings - Teacher Notes
A lesson for practicing canceling and rescheduling meetings
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: 15'
Ask students to work in partners to answer the
questions, or if it is a small class, begin a dialogue about weather. For question 2, if Ss don't offer,
you can ask them if they've ever used an online map site to check on traffic. Ss can also listen to
local news on the radio or television to check traffic conditions.
CANCELING A MEETING: 10'
Ask Ss to write down what they would say if they canít
get to a meeting on time. Once they have finished, have them practice by turning to the
person next to them and telling them that they can't make it to the meeting. If it's a small group,
have them say it to the class.
Make sure to teach Ss that they should explain the reason why they will be late
or not at the meeting and if possible, suggest an alternative meeting time.
As a tip, tell Ss that often times leaving a voicemail message is not enough,
especially if you are running late to a meeting. They should try to speak to someone in person.
RESCHEDULING A MEETING: 15'
Go through this section of polite phrases to use to
reschedule a meeting. Read and have the Ss repeat. Ask Ss to finish the sentences with a
partner or as a whole class.
GUIDED PRACTICE: 10'
Ss read the two dialogs on the worksheets and determine
which one is good and which one is not and provide reasons why. Have them read the dialog
with a partner and then begin a class discussion about what worked and what did not.
FREE PRACTICE: 20'
Ss read the first two situations on the worksheet and write a
voicemail message and an email they would leave for those scenarios. Have them read their
messages to the class. The class should offer feedback.
Ss work with a partner to write their own dialog to reschedule a meeting for
situation #3. They will "perform" the dialog for the class.
Offer Ss feedback on their dialogs, pronunciation, grammar and
Find a website that gives you traffic information. Check your
route from home to work or school.
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