As professionals, we are bound to participate in meetings – business meetings whether we are employees, marketing agents, entrepreneurs or heading institutions. In the beginning of a career, a meeting is accompanied with a bit of Monday nervousness till the meeting starts in real time. Sometimes there are goose bumps while some feel shaking while the meeting approaches.

But is it really that difficult to participate or host a meeting ?

Many of the meetings fail or turn disappointing despite high profile participants because of failure of essence of communication. One way talk during short or long meetings kills the very spirit of communication. Instead of keep talking of one’s achievements keeps leaves a very bad taste. It gives a feel that he/she did not have any prepared content to discuss so he/she was just passing time. Instead by listening to others, you learn many hidden professional skills. Create a culture of listening , talking and thinking while talking. It is a way to learn how other organisations work, what latest technology is in trend, what fintech tools are prevailing or are about to kickstart?

There needs to be some preparation required by the participants. Some trivial or crucial preparation tips are –

  • Learn about the participants, their work profile and hierarchy in organisation
  • Thoroughly understand your reason to be there
  • Prepare content in advance about the possible discussion
  • Greet everyone and Exchange visiting cards at the beginning. It is advisable to carry extra bunch of your visiting cards mentioning correct emails and contact numbers.
  • Learn to introduce yourself as brief as possible, one does not need to explain each work experience or qualification listed in CV. You may well start with your current position and highlight specific qualification, if aptly required. It helps to put yourself in right view of others for attentive discussion.
  • Listen carefully to other members for good time unless it becomes repetitive. Do not focus only on one member rather address all members in your conversation. It is a group talk not one-to-one meeting. Introduction should be roughly 2 mins per person.
  • It is rude not to let others speak because you already have read about them.
  • Within 5-8 mins, Come to agenda of meeting. Place your opinion before others but immediately after ask them to place their opinions and views.
  • Do ask relevant questions, even if you feel you can’t take the decisions, or the agenda cannot be fulfilled, do let the discussion happen. Discussion opens many mutually learning avenues of alternate options. Moreover it is free learning tool available to you, to know how other professionals talk and think about certain proposal.
  • Do not cut short other member unless it is diverting too much from the focal point.
  • Commit only what is possibly risk-free sure.
  • Leave meeting on a good optimistic note. One may always close the proposal through a short email or call.

It is also a way to create rapport in Business world. Business world is a small world. You never know, you may cross someone on the road down a couple of years, and as per old saying – first impression is the last impression, at least it is difficult to beat the first one.

Remember meetings are two ways – Listen and Talk or in other words to give and receive information followed by discussing the views. It is wise not to let the stress of handling a meeting kill your most important tool to present yourself in a most positive way. When the meeting disperses, may be a couple of them leave inspired by you !!

Vaneeta Aggarwal
Vaneeta Aggarwal

Founder CEO – L’strategyq Advisors, Speaker Author & Mentor
Patron & Publisher of Digital Magazine – Business Strategy