Company staff meetings typically aren't fun. They usually aren't exciting. In fact, you've probably contemplated running for the hills once or twice when you received a memo about one coming up. Many of these meeting are mandatory, however, and you can't simply skip out on them.
If you have to attend business meetings, why not take the optimistic approach? Why not change your attitude and not only vow to make the best of the situation, but actually use those meetings to get noticed by the powers that be?
To do this, you'll need to take the following steps.
Have a Positive Perspective
One of the major keys to a successful business meeting lies in your perspective. While you may have dreaded it in the past, now is the time to make a change and think about how it can help you. Doing so can be helpful to both you and your co-workers, as it can help you enjoy what you're doing and boost morale at the same time.
So how do you make that kind of attitude adjustment? While it may seem simple, (and incredibly hard at the same time,) deciding to make that change is the first step toward a more positive perspective. That isn't all you can do, though. Another good way to become more optimistic and positive is to make a list of all the benefits you can obtain from going into a meeting with a new way of thinking.
For instance, changing your perspective may help you:
- Attract More Clients- Having a negative attitude can prevent you from attracting clients to your business. If your meeting is with new or recurring clients, putting a smile on your face and thinking positively can alter their opinion of the meeting and your company.
- Getting a Promotion- When management sees that you are involved, listening, and ready for a business meeting, they are much more likely to keep an eye on you for other steps you are taking. This will make it easier to get noticed in other areas of your career and make it easier for you to obtain your next promotion.
- Time Flies- When you dread it, an hour-long meeting can seem like it drags on for an eternity. By being positive and involved, the meeting will seem like it's over much more quickly.
Do Your Due Diligence
Want to stand out at your next business meeting? Be prepared for it. Don't walk into the conference room and let everyone else do the talking. This isn't the time to think 'off the top of your head.' While any comments you make or questions you ask should be from your own brain, understanding the topic at hand and being ready with helpful injections is important. This can show your managers you are listening, involved, and willing to take the extra steps necessary to be a part of the conversation.
There are three easy ways to do your due diligence before a meeting.
- Read the Memo- If you were informed about the meeting through a memo or email, read it thoroughly. This will often help you understand what the topic of the meeting will be so you can better research it.
- Ask Questions- If you have a chance, don't be afraid to ask questions about the upcoming business meeting, especially if there was little to no information given on the subject in the memo. Speak to those in power above you and ask intelligent questions to get the answers you need.
- Take Notes- While it won't prepare you for the current meeting, taking notes during the meeting can help you attract attention during the next one. Write down any ideas or questions you have and bring them up the first chance you get.
Watch Your Attire
First impressions don't just occur at the door when you come in for an interview. They happen every day when you walk into the office and when you walk into the conference room. Take these first impressions seriously by dressing the part of a successful businessman. If you do, it will be much more likely that the bosses will see you as one.
For business meetings, consider the current dress code of your office and take it up a notch. For many this may mean suits. Men's suits make a statement and get you noticed quickly. Unlike business casual clothing, they tell others that you hold yourself to a high standard. They say that you are authoritative. They tell others that you really do mean business.
Who would you take notice of? A man who sits in the back of a the meeting wearing a pair of chinos or a man who wears a crisp black suit and isn't scared to raise his hand and contribute ideas?
Take Every Chance you get
Are you meeting clients at their office for a meeting? If this is the case, you'll most likely be greeted by a staff member who will escort you from the door to the meeting room so you don't become lost. Skip the small talk during this time. Instead, speak to the individual about the company and your clients so you can get as much information before you begin the meeting.
It doesn't matter whether the individual escorting you is an executive assistant or the boss, this short walk can help you dive into a conversation that lets you understand the business you're working with better and understand who the individuals in power are that you need to impress.
It's easy to forget about what happens in a meeting if you're not the one in charge of making sure every idea provided is one that is addressed and put into place.
If you want to get noticed, though, you need to take some initiative. Even if you are lowly man on the totem pole, consider your responsibility to check up on those ideas and see if the questions given have been answered. Doing so will help you grow professionally, create more opportunities for you, and increase your chances of earning a promotion. Why? When you step forward and check up on your company, management notices.
Want to get noticed at your next meeting? Wear the right men's suits, stay positive, and follow up. These steps will help catch the eye of management.