The way you conduct yourself in a meeting will leave a lasting impression with your manager, co-workers and clients. Your behaviour could affect your professional reputation so it's best to make sure you don't come across on the wrong foot.
Follow these 12 rules whilst attending or holding meetings and people will want to meet with you again:
1. Be on time
Arriving half way through a meeting can come across as unprofessional. Although being late sometimes can't be helped (due to train cancellations, tube delays, bad traffic, etc.) it's best to leave with plenty of time to spare to ensure you're on time.
2. Dress suitably
If your meeting is with a corporate company then make sure you are dressed conservatively and mirror those you're meeting with. However, if it is with a more relaxed business who don't have a strict dress code it is best to still look smart but a suit may not be necessary. Always check the dress code before attending.
3. Introduce strangers
If you organised the meeting and some people don't know each other then it is your responsibility to initiate handshakes and do introductions with all of the attendees. Be standing when making introductions to be recognised as the host.
4. Be prepared
Make sure you know what topics the meeting will cover and prepare your part so that you contribute equally to the conversation. Have informative answers ready as other attendees will most likely ask you questions to expand on your points.
5. Be concise
No one likes a waffler in a meeting, you will likely lose the attention of your audience. Keep your statements and questions concise, to the point and try not to repeat yourself.
6. Sit appropriately
Meetings can become tedious, drag on for longer than expected or the topics might not really interest you but that doesn't give you the excuse to become slovenly. Sit appropriately, look engaged and stay attentive as this will keep the speakers engaged.
7. Have a firm agenda
If you organised the meeting it is important that you ensure everyone stays on track. Make sure people don't go off on tangents, everyone stays within their allotted time and that all the points get covered efficiently.
8. Don't interrupt
It's impolite to speak over others and interrupt. Everyone needs to get their own time within a meeting to make their point and have their views heard. This is an unwritten rule of meetings and following it will keep the attendees happy.
9. Don't eat
Drinking tea, coffee and water is totally acceptable in a meeting, however, snacking throughout isn't good form. Noises from eating and the rustling from paper or wrappers can be very distracting to the other attendees. Also, certain food smells may put some people off. If it is an all-day meeting there should be lunch time catering provided when there'll be a designated time set aside for food which suits everyone.
10. Ask questions throughout
Don't leave all of your questions until the end as there may not be enough time to answer them all. Ask your questions whilst they're valid and the topic is being discussed.
11. Stay off your phone
No matter how people try to excuse this, it's just rude. You might as well not be at the meeting if you plan to sit on your phone the entire time. Don't have your phone on the table either, the light flashing or noises will be very distracting to other attendees. Should you have to take a call then excuse yourself and leave the room before answering.
12. Leave the room tidy
The meeting room will be cleaned afterwards but it's just good manners to leave it as neat as possible. Clear any rubbish into the bin provided and stack any used crockery and glasses. The meeting room provider will appreciate your help and remember you as a good client for future meetings.
Do you need somewhere to hold your weekly or monthly meetings? Orega offers meeting rooms, boardrooms and conference rooms for 2-100+ attendees throughout all business centres. Get in touch for more information or to book.
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