Six Tips to Attending Meetings Like a Pro
1. Be Prepared
Before any meeting, read the meeting agenda, topics of focus and general reason for the meeting. Make a list of your own of topics you wish to cover as an attendee. This will help you stay focused throughout the meeting and engaged in the conversation. Have a clear idea of how you will contribute to the meeting. Print out the pre-meeting agenda and notes beforehand using Boise X-9® Copy Paper for dependable and consistent results. Also, always remember to have a pen and paper in tow – take notes on everything! This will make your life easier after the meeting has concluded.
2. Have Confidence
Walking into a meeting with your nerves racking is never a great way to start. Show your confidence by walking in with your head held high, a firm handshake and good eye-to-eye contact. This will show everyone in the room that you’re prepared and ready to go. Blind them with your brilliance.
3. Be On Time
This may seem intuitive, but it’s very important. Give yourself enough time to get to where the meeting is being held, get situated and comfortable, and make some small talk before the meeting. If necessary, this also gives you time to break the ice with some coworkers or clients you may not know so well. Take time to introduce yourself before every meeting. Being a couple minutes early is always encouraged.
4. Speak Your Mind
Meeting leaders will appreciate participation in a meeting. Through participation, new ideas are created. Don’t be the wallflower of the meeting, speak your mind and give helpful, on-topic comments. Well thought-out ideas will be especially appreciated in meetings – giving the group something to discuss and mull-over.
5. Ask (Intelligent) Questions
While many people say there are no dumb questions, that’s not entirely true. Although all questions are encouraged during office meetings, it’s always best to create a strategy beforehand for asking your questions. Does this question pertain to this meeting? What will myself and others get out of this question? And so on. Asking questions will show your interest in the topic at hand and prove that you have been paying attention throughout the meeting. However, if a question could be asked privately instead of with the whole group, jot down a note to bring it up later in a different setting.
6. Pay Attention
Attending a meeting is only helpful for all involved if you are fully immersed in the meeting topic. When attending a meeting, keep all distractions to a minimum by leaving your phone and laptop at your desk and bringing a glass of water to stay hydrated and focused. If you know you will not be able to give your full attention to the meeting at its present time, feel free to politely suggest another time.