So, you’re determined to make an impression at your next meeting. To make your colleagues gaze in awe, and your boss give you their office in sheer amazement at your genius. All that’s left to do now is to walk into the room, say your piece, and wait for the applause to begin, right? Well, good luck with that. There’s more to making your mark in a meeting than just having the determination to stand out. If you don’t have a grip on the intricacies of a conference dynamic, you might find yourself met with a stony silence rather than an awed one.
1. Know what you’re talking about
This is, by far, the most important part of succeeding in a meeting. You have to know what it is you’re talking about, in some fairly serious depth. It’s great to want to contribute, but if every time you open your mouth you only have a half-baked idea of what you’re going to say, people are going to notice immediately. Doing your research beforehand will make it much easier to speak with authority, answer any questions that might come your way, and make it clear that you really understand what you’re saying.
2. Know what’s going on in the office
Rather than focusing on what you want to say and nothing else, it’s essential to have an idea of what other people have been batting around the office. Rhapsodizing about the necessity of printing documents physically, when Kevin from Software has just led a very successful campaign to go paper-free, is only going to make you look like a fool. If you know what ideas other people have, you’ll be able to come up with suggestions that mesh well with others from the start, and you’ll hit the ground running.
3. Be a team player
Following on from that, it’s important to be a team player. It’s just as important to know when to sit back and listen, as it is to lean forward and speak. That doesn’t just mean listening quietly when you aren’t talking though, you should ask for feedback too. Listening to criticisms from others will make it clear that you can take information on board, and use it to further optimize your ideas. Ditto for offering feedback on other people’s suggestions. Rather than just ensuring your own success, you want to build something solid with your co-workers. Engaging in a helpful give-and-take will send the message that you really are a team player.
4. Follow through with what you say
The meeting is over, you’ve demonstrated your dazzling business acumen, and everyone’s given you a pat on the back for an excellent showing. This isn’t the end of it though – you’re still going to have to make something happen. It’s imperative that, having said your piece in the meeting, you follow up on making your ideas a reality. If you can demonstrate commitment to seeing your suggestions through to completion, it’ll help management see that you’re about action, more than just putting on a good show.
Everybody wants to stand out in a meeting, so long as it’s for the right reasons. It’s not necessarily easy to master the art of a conference, but it is absolutely worth it. A good performance can get the attention of your boss, the respect of your colleagues, and make you better at work, which can’t ever hurt. If you can bear these tips in mind, you’ll come out of every meeting shining like a star.