Making Appointments

This lesson is about making appointments. There is a glossary of useful language, an audio dialogue that models the language in context, a reading comprehension exercise based on the dialogue and a gap fill exercise based on the dialogue. Clicking the Materials tab at the top of the lesson will reveal a transcript for role playing the conversation and open ended conversation questions about making appointments.

Making appointments and scheduling meetings is an essential skill in business. Look at the vocabulary related to making appointments and scheduling meetings and then answer the questions below.

AgendaA list of topics or items (N) to be discussed or addressed during a meeting or appointment.
AppointmentA prearranged meeting or event (N).
AvailabilityThe state of being free to meet or do something at a particular time (N/Adj).
CancelTo call off or call back an appointment or arrangement (V).
CancellationThe act of calling off or canceling a previously arranged appointment or event (N).
ConfirmTo verify or ensure that a plan or appointment is agreed upon and will occur (V).
DiaryA written or electronic record (N) of appointments, events, and personal notes.
Face-to-faceMeeting in person (Adj), as opposed to virtual or remote communication.
Fit inTo find a suitable time to schedule an appointment (V).
Follow-upA subsequent action or communication that occurs after an initial appointment or meeting (N/Adj).
MeetingA gathering of people for a specific purpose (N), often involving discussions or decision-making.
Pencil something inTo tentatively schedule an appointment (V) or event that may be subject to change.
PostponeTo delay or put off an appointment or event (V) to a later time.
Rain checkA polite way (N) of declining an invitation or appointment but expressing a desire to reschedule in the future.
ReceptionistA person employed to receive and assist visitors (N), often in scheduling appointments.
RescheduleTo change the date, time, or details of an appointment or event (V).
ScheduleA plan (N) that outlines activities, events, or appointments over time (N/V).
SlotA specific period (N) of time allocated for an appointment or event.
SuggestTo propose or offer a particular idea, plan, or time (V) for an appointment.
VenueThe location or place (N) where an appointment, event, or meeting will take place.

Now listen to an example conversation and do the activity below.

  • A: Hi there.

    B: Hello.

    A: I was wondering if we could schedule a meeting to discuss our upcoming project. It’s becoming quite critical, and I think a face-to-face meeting would be beneficial.

    B: Absolutely. I agree that we should meet soon. What dates are you looking at?

    A: Well, I’m available next week. How about Wednesday or Thursday?

    B: Let me check my diary. (Pauses) Wednesday fits into my schedule. What time are you thinking?

    A: How about 10:00 AM? Does that work for you?

    B: 10:00 AM on Wednesday sounds good. Where would you like to meet?

    A: Let’s pencil something in for the conference room on the fourth floor. It’s quiet and has a projector for presentations. It seems like an ideal venue. What do you think?

    B: Sounds good. Conference room on the fourth floor at 10:00 AM next Wednesday. Got it.

    A: Thanks for accommodating the change. I appreciate it. I’ll send you a calendar invitation right after this call to confirm the rescheduled appointment.

    B: Thank you. I’ll be sure to accept and confirm the invitation once I receive it. I’ll also inform my assistant to cancel my previous engagement and send you a copy of the agenda for the meeting.

    A: No problem. Please let me know in advance if you need to cancel or reschedule. Looking forward to our meeting on Wednesday.

    B: Likewise. Have a great day!

    A: You too. Goodbye!

  • Can you describe a situation in which you had to make an important business appointment? How did you go about scheduling it?
  • In your opinion, what are the key factors to consider when proposing a meeting time to a business colleague or partner?
  • How do you handle scheduling conflicts when two or more important appointments overlap? Can you share an example?
  • What tools or software do you typically use to manage your appointments and meetings effectively in a professional setting?
  • How important is punctuality in business appointments, and how do you ensure you are on time for meetings?
  • Have you ever had to reschedule or cancel an appointment due to unforeseen circumstances? How did you handle the situation?
  • Can you discuss the cultural aspects of making appointments in a business context? Are there any cultural differences you’ve encountered in your international business interactions?
  • When making appointments with clients or partners from different time zones, how do you ensure everyone is on the same page regarding meeting times?
  • What strategies do you employ to ensure that meetings are productive and achieve their intended goals?
  • How do you follow up after a business appointment to ensure that action items are addressed and agreements are upheld?