So you have another meeting and you want to make a great impression eh? You should definitely keep your drive and enthusiasm going because meetings are far beyond informative group sessions. Meetings are often in environments that provide your only exposure to other employees. How you represent yourself both as a listener and communicator might be far more important than you imagined. I want you to analyze and think outside of what you know about meetings and review my 10 Tips on How to be Presentable in a Group Setting:
- Note taking: even if you find no value, the perception of taking notes shows a presenter you care about the message. Don’t find yourself sitting in a room being the only one not taking notes.
- Eye contact: give whoever is speaking your undivided attention. Keeping your eyes on the speaker not only shows them you care, it keeps you engaged in the moment.
- Come prepared: speaking from personal failure, make sure you are prepared for a meeting. Gum, writing utensils, paper, whatever it is, make sure you pack it before going into the meeting.
- Cell phones: face down, turned off, left in a locker, do whatever it takes to keep that thing out of your hand. A great best practice is to let a personal contact, and a professional contact know where you are and how to get a hold of you in a meeting without the use of your cellphone.
- Facial expressions: all it takes is one person to see you roll your eyes or laugh in disagreement. Your expressions are incredibly easy to decipher and everyone will be scanning the room for them. Smile, relax and be aware of your body language.
- Professional thoughts: the feedback you give needs to be productive and collaborative. By all means, state your opinions and give your perspective, but do it professionally. Feedback that singles someone out should be left for 1:1 discussion, not group settings.
- Provide feedback: following up from #6, you need to be engaged in dialogue. This could be your biggest opportunity if you are constantly being asked to speak up during meetings. Study the topics the night before if you are struggling coming up with your thoughts on the spot. If you sit silently time after time in meetings, others will perceive this as lack of knowledge, or lack of care.
- Team accomplishments only please: whether you are proving a point or providing feedback, be careful with leading in heavily with your accomplishments. It’s not flattering overcoming other’s thoughts with your personal triumphs. Use words like “we” instead of “I” to build community and avoid bragging about your individual achievements.
- Break networking: use breaks to network with others and don’t be shy doing it. Find others in the room that are sitting alone and approach them by asking “how are you doing today?” Introduce yourself and build relationships that will mutually benefit throughout your career.
- Mix it up: don’t make your leaders separate you when you walk in a room. Say hello to those you know, and go sit by those you don’t know. Building relationships, stepping out of your comfort zone, and showing leaders you are driven to grow teamwork will improve your advocacy.
Try to prepare and understand your role in each meeting and how important it is to employers. Meetings should be viewed as auditions for your next role, and should be taken seriously. Find value, seek guidance and ask for feedback if this is a challenge for you.
Michael Dooleyleaderdevelopmentblog.com T-https://twitter.com/MdooleyBlog F-https://www.facebook.com/leaderdevelopmentblog Question: Which best practices can you share with the World?