These days, more and more business is being discussed and handled over emails, newsletters or calls. However, these cannot replace face-to-face business meetings. They not only strengthen good working relationship, but also help in assessing the body language and other people’s reaction to what you are saying.
Below is a recipe for how a professional can make the most out of a business meeting:
1. Go through the Agenda
Study the agenda and make sure you are well-prepared on the topics that are going to be discussed so that you are on the same platform as the other attendees.
2. Prepare notes
List out key points and comments that you think are crucial for this meeting. Don’t let the meeting get over without addressing them. This will boost your confidence level.
3. Review the Attendee List
Go through the attendee list before you walk into the room. You can be mentally prepared accordingly.
4. Confirm location
If the meeting is being held outside your office, then confirm date, time, location and directions, a week prior to the meeting. You don’t want to look disorganized!
5. Be punctual
Sounds clichéd but it’s something which may build or spoil your image. Hence, always arrive early for a meeting.
6. Be presentable
Even if your organization follows a casual dress code, avoid wearing too casual clothes in a meeting.
If you are speaking at this meeting, take at least an extra 15 minutes prior to review your notes and go through your presentation.
For any reason, if you won’t be able to attend the meeting, then do send an apology mail to all the attendees.
During Meeting –
1. Late arrival
If you are arriving late, take a seat quietly and apologize whenever there is a break.
2. Be calm
Even if you don’t agree with any of the points raised, you should confidently put forth your opinion but avoid getting rude or anxious.
3. Stay focused
Do not hold side conversations. It’s easy to get distracted but your job is to stay attentive.
4. Undivided attention
Avoid looking at your mobile to check mails, take phone calls or replying to text messages. The meeting may get over faster if everyone is focused.
Don’t leave the meeting without assessing the happenings of the meeting and plans to improve the next meeting!
6. Thank everyone
No matter what the results are; remember to thank all the attendees before leaving.
Post meeting –
1. Don’t criticize
By no means complain afterwards about the points discussed or the decisions taken, or against specific people at the meeting.
Keep a proper record of the notes that you have taken down. You can use them for future reference.
3. Action items
Make a separate list of all the action items that were assigned to you, along with their deadlines. Also, ensure clarity about the deadlines.
4. Be clear
Don’t send post meeting documents/notes without some explanation about how they are related to the plans discussed.
5. Share feedback
Do share your feedback about the meeting; if not formally, speak informally. For e.g. if you are unclear about any action item or not satisfied about a particular decision.
Meetings consume a lot of resources so the more efficiently they are organized; the better will be the return on investment.