Women In Business

10 tips to make an impact in meetings

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Trying to make an impact with your boss and other influential people in your company can be a difficult thing to do. You need to strike the right balance of when, where and how. That is why making an impact in meetings is incredibly important because it provides you with the perfect opportunity to interact with a number of influential people in your company. But there are some dos and don’ts you should be aware of before you enter any business meeting – how to present yourself, when to speak up, when to keep quiet, and how to get an active part in the projects being discussed.

1. Be prepared

Before a meeting you need to be prepared.  Make sure you have materials or apps to take notes as well as any relevant documents for the meeting.  You should also read through the agenda and any appendices beforehand in order to prepare yourself adequately and brainstorm on ideas you could share during the meeting.

Being prepared means nobody can catch you off guard, and you’ll be able to shine and take your meeting performance to the next level.

2. Arrive early

If you start off a business meeting by arriving early and prepared, you have already started to make the right impact.

Not only will it show people how serious you are about business, but it will also allow you the chance to have a quick word with others before the meeting begins. This will give you the chance to make a good impression and form a connection that will last long after the meeting is finished.

3. Speak up

Once you’re in the meeting, if you feel as though you can provide some positive input then don’t let the opportunity pass you buy. You need to be confident about your own ideas in order to have others be confident about them.

That is why speaking up in meetings and sharing your ideas in a strong and clear voice can help you greatly. It will show your peers you are not afraid of providing some input and that when you do, it can be incredibly useful.

4. But don’t interrupt

While you do need to speak up in order to have your voice heard, interrupting someone else is never a good idea.  This will leave people with the impression you don’t have any respect for your coworkers and thus don’t care about business.

5. Or dominate

While you shouldn’t interrupt anyone in a meeting, you also shouldn’t dominate the discussion once you’ve got your turn to speak.

Once you have made your point you need to leave the floor open for anyone else to have their say. This way, you show you’re willing to let other people provide their own opinion regarding your ideas even if it is a criticism in order to improve the business.

6. Listen – and show you’re listening

Listening to other people’s ideas is just as important as sharing your own.

Business meetings are the perfect opportunity for you to show others that you aren’t just interested in your ideas but theirs as well.

As a result, if people feel as though you are interested in helping them achieve their own goals, they will be more willing to help you achieve yours.

Take notes while other people are speaking, ask them to recap if you need to, summarise back to them “so, I understand what you are suggesting is…”

7. Have the right body language

Body language plays a big factor into business meetings as people often focus on what they see as much as on what they hear.

If you want people in a meeting to believe you are invested in what they are saying, show it.

Make sure you are always sitting up straight and be sure to always maintain eye contact with people when you are speaking and when you’re not; maintain eye contact with the person who is.

Do not play with your hair, scratch or rub your eyes. In fact, basic rule is to keep your hands off yourself altogether. Psychologists say that every time you play with your hair in a workplace situation, people estimate your IQ as lower by a few points.

8. Volunteer

If the opportunity arises in a meeting for you to volunteer for a project, you should definitely take it.

This will show you are a team player as you are willing to work on a project other than your own in order to further the entire company and not just yourself.

However, don’t make it a habit of volunteering for every opportunity that arises, you should still be selective in what you put yourself forward for.

9. Ask questions

If at any point during a meeting you are unsure of something and want clarification, you should raise these concerns with everyone.

If you are worried as to how others will view you asking questions, don’t be. There is nothing wrong with asking them in order to understand the topic better and if anything it will show how dedicated and professional you are and can actually be beneficial to everyone.

10. Offer constructive criticism

When listening to other people’s ideas in a business meeting, it is likely you will not always agree with some of them, or at the very least you will find a way it can be improved.

When this occurs don’t be afraid of providing constructive criticism as it will not only improve the ideas being put forth but it will also highlight what you can bring to the table.

Just remember to do it in a collegial manner, not a critical one. And that goes for whether you are the most junior person there or the boss.

Therefore while business meetings may at times cause you to become nervous because of the amount of influential people present, following the ten tips above ensures you have given yourself the greatest chance at making not just an impact in the meeting, but a long-lasting impact on those influential people.

 

About Natalie Cupac

Natalie Cupac Journalist & Features Writer for The Business Woman, Natalie Cupac is studying a double degree of Journalism and International Studies and has previously worked for Pacific Magazines

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