For everything, there are rules and guidelines. Business or work meetings aren’t always fun. However, when you’re required to attend one, it’s important that you conduct yourself in a respectful and professional manner among your coworkers, bosses, and current or prospective clients.
Here are the top tips to maintain a positive and professional image while in a meeting.
1. Mingle with others before the meeting starts
If the opportunity presents itself, go up to people and introduce yourself. If everyone doesn’t know one another in the meeting room, make introductions. starting with the person of the highest rank.
2. Be concise
Say what you need to say in as few words as necessary. Don’t repeat yourself or give unnecessary information.
3. Initiate the handshake if you’re the higher-ranking person or host
The host or the higher-ranking person, regardless of gender, should extend their hand first.
4. Always stand when you’re being introduced to someone
Standing helps establish your presence. It’s easy for others to ignore you if you don’t stand.
5. Be on time for the meeting
Make sure you arrive on time. You don’t want to waste anyone else’s time by not being punctual
6. Sit appropriately
Adjust your chair so that you’re at equal height with everyone else at the table. Both men and women should avoid crossing their legs because it can be distracting and even too sexy for a professional setting.
7. Dress appropriately
Clothing can enhance a person’s professional reputation or detract from his or her credibility. Always find out what the dress code is and make sure your attire falls within the guidelines.
8. Never pull out someone’s chair for them
It’s okay t o hold open a door for your guest, but in a business setting, you should leave those social gender rules behind.
9. Come to the meeting prepared
Know what the meeting is covering beforehand and know your part. Be prepared to ask and answer questions.
10. Have a strong agenda
If you’re the one running the meeting, it’s imperative that you stay on track. If you do digress, make sure to have a colleague who will steer you back in the right direction.
11. Speak up and speak early
Speak loudly enough so that everyone hears what you’re saying. Find some meaningful comment to add in the beginning of the meeting so people know yo u are there.
12. Understand the unwritten speaking rules
It’s not polite to interrupt others, but in some meetings, you have to interrupt at some point or you won’t be heard. Understand the rules so that you can have a productive meeting.
13. You can drink coffee or water, but avoid eating anything else
Unless it’s a breakfast, lunch or a dinner meeting – avoid eating at the table. You will likely make disruptive noises or give off smells. Clean up after yourself and leave things the way you found them.
14. Do not have your phone out – Keep it out of sight!
Do not keep your phone on the table during a meeting; it can get distracting if it starts lighting up or making noises. Leave the room if you absolutely must take the call or return a t ext.
Adapted from: BusinessInsider.com