Meetings should be held for a certain purpose, such as to discuss ideas or issues, announce important updates among staff, and to solve problems as a team. Whether you’re calling for a meeting or you’re being invited to one, you should be clear with what you want to discuss and what you want to achieve at the end of it. If you’re the organizer, be considerate and make sure every single person you invited can add value to the discussion. Bear in mind that your colleagues have their own tasks to work on, hence it’s important to ensure their time spend in the meeting is worthwhile.
“It is not rude to leave, it is rude to make someone stay and waste their time.” – Elon Musk
Organizing or being a part of important meetings are the best time to get noticed by your boss. Here are 5 ways to making your best impression in front of your boss or any important people in the meeting room.
1. Know your colleagues
Learn who the decision makers are and structure your meeting in a way that you can address what they might ask for in this meeting. Hence, you first have to know your colleagues, especially their roles in the company and what their expertises are to make sure you invite the right people to join the meeting. For example, you don’t invite the finance team to join a product development status update meeting. Not only you will leave a bad impression in front of your boss for not knowing your audience, but more importantly you are wasting your colleagues’ precious time which could be spent doing their work.
2. Use data to support your argument
Analysis data and research statistics are crucial to productive meetings. No matter what department you’re in, you should share the data and metrics used to measure results to support your point. In any professional environment, we should never make decision based on personal assumptions. Always arm yourself with figures and propose relevant solutions based on good quality data.
“Let the data speaks for itself.”
Just make sure you present the numbers in a simple and easy to understand manner. The main objective here is to make sure everyone in the room understand what you’re presenting.
3. Be prepared to step in
You may not the key presenter for the meeting, but always prepare yourself as if you’re the key person. Ditch the “employee” mindset and start to think like an owner of the company. Pay attention to how your actions can bring positive effects on the company instead of just do enough to get by. So, prep yourself for the meeting as if you were the leader. That’s how you will blow everyone’s mind with the ability to lead when called upon.
4. Have good communication skills
This may sound obvious but having good communication skills such as active listening, asking questions at the right time, and being clear when communicating with your audience is vital. Give some thoughts about what the audience might ask or say about your proposal, and prepare some counterpoints using your own judgement. It’s a simple yet effective way to show your thoughtfulness and how well-prepared you are for the meeting. Plus, make sure you take note of every questions raised by the audience that left unanswered during the meeting, remember to follow up as soon as possible to show that you paid attention to their concerns.
5. Summarize and conclude the meeting professionally
This is one of the key ways to showcase your abilities to manage the discussion and end it on a good note. Even if your presentation didn’t go as planned but always make sure you conclude it with confidence and leave a memorable impression for your audience. Remind them again the purpose of the meeting and summarize the whole presentation with a few key points. Be sure you do a proper follow up and send out a concise post-meeting summary to everyone who attended the meeting.
Throughout your career, it’s crucial to build rapport with the key players within your company and having meetings is a direct way to cultivate these connections. With the right amount of confidence and preparation, you’ll be on the right track to achieve a greater height in the company.