Read the following text about business etiquette in Miami, Florida.
Business in Miami
Miami’s close proximity to Latin America makes it a
fascinating place to do business. Throughout the past
decade, a large number of companies from the Caribbean,
Central and South America have set up offices here and, as a
result, Greater Miami’s workforce has grown younger, more
multilingual and more culturally diverse.
However, for business purposes, it is still essentially
America. Therefore, dress code is smart and business is
managed the American way – quickly, efficiently and frankly.
Business cards should always be presented. Outside the
boardroom, Americans are often informal and will use first
names. Business socialising, drinking and dining is popular
Office hours are generally 09:00-17:00, although these can
vary slightly from one organisation to the next. When public
holidays occur on a weekday or weekend, they are usually
celebrated on the nearest Friday or Monday, thereby creating
a three-day weekend.
Meetings often take place in social situations and, because
of the fast-paced business life of Americans, breakfast
meetings are common. Lunch meetings are also popular,
sometimes with alcohol. Meetings may also take place over
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Now complete the following definitions with words from the text. Follow
Read the following text about business meetings.
Holding Effective Meetings
Too many business meetings are badly organised, ineffective,
long and boring. Call a meeting only when it's absolutely
critical, and structure it carefully so that it achieves its
- 1. Ask yourself if the meeting is really necessary. Do you
only want to pass on information? If so, maybe you could
send an email or a memo. If you need to discuss something,
can you deal with the matter by conference call?
- 2. If you decide that you need a meeting, make a list of
who needs to attend. It’s a good idea to keep the list as
short as possible, as large meetings can be more difficult
to keep focused. Suggest that people attend only the parts
of the meeting that involve them. This saves time and helps
to keep to the agenda.
- 3. Decide exactly when the meeting will start and finish.
Start the meeting at the correct time, whether or not
everyone is present. Avoid taking too much time to summarize
for people who come late. Schedule a meeting before lunch,
at the end of the day, or immediately before another meeting
to prevent it from becoming too long.
- 4. Prepare an agenda and explain the aim of the meeting;
if there is more than one aim, decide which ones have
priority, and make this clear.
Make sure that everyone has an agenda in advance to allow
people to prepare for the meeting.
- 5. Prepare visual aids such as charts, handouts,
computer-based presentations or slides.
- 6. Start off the meeting with short, easier issues before
discussing longer, more difficult points.
- 7. Give a specific amount of time for each issue, and move
through the agenda systematically. Allow for discussion but
avoid digression or repetition.
- 8. Pay close attention to the time and if a debate on a
particular point becomes too long, postpone discussion until
the end of the meeting. Try to cover the other issues on the
- 9. To follow up, give out copies of the minutes after the
meeting to remind everyone of conclusions and action plans.
Read the text again and answer the following questions.
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