No matter whether you are an employee, business owner, or entrepreneur, you will likely face a lot of meetings during your professional career. Some of these meetings will be very important and can help to be a step forward in your professional position, whereas others will seem completely unnecessary and feel like a waste of time.
However, no matter whether you are hosting a meeting or attending one, you should always approach them with the same mind set. Regardless of how important you think it might be, most meetings will often involve senior management and colleagues from different departments. That means approaching it ready to showcase your best self, will ensure you can always enhance our professional reputation.
If you are looking to portray a positive and professional image in your next meeting, there are ten key tips you should remember:
Regardless of whether you are hosting or attending, take the time to understand the meeting topic before arriving. Creating or reading through the agenda and supporting documents is essential. You should also come equipped with the tools you need, such as pens and notebooks.
Arrive on time
Arriving late is an immediate way to create a bad impression on other attendees, and true business leaders need to ensure they are arriving on time.
If you are hosting a meeting and not everyone in the room knows each other, then the first thing you should do is make the necessary introductions, starting with the most superior staff members.
Your body language is crucial no matter whether you are hosting or merely attending, you should ensure you are as positive and welcoming as possible. You should also ensure you have adjusted your seat height, so you are level with the rest of the attendees.
Alongside your body position, you should also consider your location around the table. If you are leading the meeting, ensure you are sitting in a position of clear sight for everyone else, whereas if one of your colleagues is chairing the meeting, sit close by to show support.
Although you do not want to shout, many people do not speak loudly enough when at a meeting. To maximise your presence, speak loudly and clearly so everyone at the table can understand what you are saying.
Understand when to talk
If you are not chairing the meeting, you should still engage within the conversation, but make sure you do interrupt someone mid-flow or dominate the conversation.
Keep your phone away
We are never more than an arm’s reach from our smartphones, but when it comes to meetings, you should keep it in your pocket on silent. It is considered incredibly rude to text or answer emails during a meeting.
A great way to show you are engaged and attentive with other attendees is to ask questions at the appropriate time. However, try to avoid asking lengthy questions at the very end of the meeting is overrunning as time could be sensitive for some people.
When a meeting wraps up, make sure you thank the organiser for arranging the meeting or attendees for coming. You should then ensure that you follow-up with action points and notes in a timely fashion, ensuring everyone knows what needs to be completed and by when. Meetings might seem like a waste of time, but they are an essential part of daily professional life, so ensuring you are showcasing your best self to your colleagues, management and clients will help you to set yourself apart for all the right reasons.
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