(Answers from last time: 1. Sorry, but I haven’t finished what I was saying./ 2. I would like to add something. / 3. I’d like to make a point here, if I could. / 4. We’ll come back to you in a moment. / 5. Let me come back to that  later. / 6. Sorry to hold the meeting up, but… /        7. Wait, what about..? / 8. Do you mind if I finish?)


Today we are going to learn how to give a verbal progress report during a meeting. Usually managers request written progress reports from their staff, but they also schedule project status meetings, where team members report on the progress of the project.

agendaWhy is a progress report necessary and important? It informs your manager / supervisor about the project’s status, but it also affects the decision-making process. That’s why your report must be accurate. Facts and statistics must be correct. You must plan your report properly.

The progress report should include the following elements:

– An introduction where you will state the overall status of the project

– An explanation of your work’s progress: how much has been completed, what stage you are currently at

– A conclusion where you will say what remains to be done and what problems must be solved in order to complete the project successfully.

A progress report is also thought of as a question and answer session. People may interrupt in order to ask questions or make comments. That’s why you should try to think of any questions that may be asked and prepare your answers.

Here are some key expressions :

Asking for an update:

’How are things with…?’

’What’s the current status of…?’

’How’s the … coming along?’

’How far are you with …?’

Giving an update:

’I’ve already …’

’I haven’t yet …’

’Up to now (the launch date) has been (set)…’

’He (booked the venue) two weeks ago.’          

’We’ve hit a problem with…’

’Things aren’t running as smoothly as I’d hoped.’

Remember! We use the past simple to talk about developments in finished time frames:

Our customer base increased in size last year / five years ago / in September / in 2008.

But we use the present perfect to talk about developments in unfinished time frames:

Our sales have increased since 2005 / recently / for the last four years.

Here’s an exercise for you to practice the past simple and the present perfect for reporting progress. (source: English for meetings, Kenneth Thomson)

1. Dualsoft’s market share ___________________ (decrease) in size in the last quarter of 2004.

2. The number of profit warnings issued by major companies ___________________ (go up) in the current quarter.

3. The time we spend on customer acquisition ___________________ (go down) this year.

4. The size of Euclipse’s workforce ___________________ (increase) two years ago.

5. Pharmaprop’s capital investment spending ___________________ (level off) since last year.

6. Complaints ___________________ (decline) dramatically since 2004.

7. The rate of unemployment ___________________ (reach a high) in 2007.

8. The number of franchisers in Europe ___________________ (rise) steadily between 2004 and 2008.

9. Since 1994, our staff size ___________________ (remain stable).

10. In 2004 and 2005, the cost  of parts ___________________ (fall) significantly.

Good luck!

Autor: Cecilia Stănia – Trainer intern A_BEST Limba Engleză

Cecilia Stănia este absolventă a Facultăţii de Limbi şi Literaturi Străine Dimitrie Cantemir, specializarea Studii Limba şi literatura Engleză– Limba şi Literatura Germană, promoţia 2010.

Cecilia a fost mereu interesată să-şi îmbunătăţească cunoştinţele de limba engleză, de aceea ea a urmat modulul Psihopedagogic Nivelul I.

În calitate de trainer A_BEST, Cecilia predă engleza – limbaj general şi business – în mediul corporate.