Business meetings can be a great communication tool and perfect opportunity to demonstrate your skills in the workplace when executed properly. Here are our top seven tips for success, whether your planning the meeting or attending.
1. Be prepared. Have the agenda, a notebook and pen, business cards and any other documents you may need ready. Determine what you can do beforehand to be ready to join in on the discussion.
2. Be conscience of your image. Being clean and neat at work is an absolute must.
3. Be punctual. Arrive on time. Try your best not to arrive more than a few minutes early, as to not interrupt any last minute preparations. Certainly try not to arrive late to the meeting at all costs, but sometimes this is unavoidable. If you're going to be late let someone know a soon as possible. When you do enter, be as unobtrusive as possible. If a formal presentation is going on, you may want to wait until there is a break to slip into the room.
4. Turn off cell phones, smart phones, pagers and watch timers. Be sure to convey that the meeting is your top priority by turning off anything that might be distracting to you or others in the meeting.
5. Keep a positive attitude. Try to avoid contradicting one another. Even in situations where differences in opinion may arise, try to address these contradictions in the most positive way possible.
6. Participate. Make sure to be a good listener and maintain focus. Convey your engagement with tone of voice and eye contact.
7. Follow-up. If you are the organizer of the meeting, be sure to follow-up with a to do list for the other meeting participants. This will ensure that your expectations and schedule are clear. If you are an attendee, ensure that you are clear on your expectations and furthermore follow through on those expectations.