Work meetings don’t have to be dull affairs; in fact, a correctly executed meeting can leave you feeling satisfied and motivated afterward! Just how do you reach that level of productivity and inspiration though?
Today we’ll be discussing four tips to help you kill it in your next work meeting, so you can leave with that refreshing sense of completion that you hope to achieve at every meeting.
- Plan Ahead
Nothing will assist you more in hosting a productive work meeting than planning ahead. This means creating a guest list and an agenda beforehand and handing it off to the attendees for review and possible suggestions on materials or objectives. Good planning will always make your meetings more efficient and effective at relaying information.
If you’re unsure how to create an agenda, don’t worry, there are plenty of resources out there to help you craft the perfect plan for your next meeting. Using an agenda template, you can plan your meetings with ease; everything you need is already in the template. All you have to do is fill it out, and you’re on your way to a more productive meeting.
Narrowing down your guest list is also a crucial part of the planning process. With the right guests present at your meeting, you can be sure that you’ll stay on track, without any side-conversations or other distracting behavior taking place.
Be sure to go over your guest list at least twice and be sure that everyone you’re inviting is actually relevant to the topics being discussed. If you find that an attendee actually has no experience or knowledge on the subject at hand, you may want to consider eliminating them from your roster.
Choosing a good date, time, and place is also beneficial to your meeting. Early morning meetings tend to be unproductive, as most people are still trying to get their coffee in just to wake up. Mid-morning meetings are usually your best bet since they’re halfway between breakfast and lunch and everyone should be (relatively) awake at that point in time.
- Dress For Success
A well-groomed, well-dressed professionally always makes a better impression than one who is not. The way you dress says a lot about who you are, and in a professional setting, can mean the respect of your peers and your superiors.
Keeping your clothes clean and buying the right fit can make all the difference in the effectiveness of your wardrobe. Your clothes should fit snugly but not too tightly, be washed and ironed, and well-kempt. A well-dressed man or woman with a commanding voice and confident attitude is not only going to turn heads but maintain the attention, which is crucial to running an effective meeting.
Personal hygiene should be a standard for professional life as much as it is for personal lives. If you’re not maintaining your clothes, facial hair, or other hygiene standards, you likely won’t be taken as seriously. Alternatively, at some workplaces, violation of the dress code can mean discipline up to termination.
Dress well, keep yourself groomed, and look the part. You’re a professional! It’s equally as important to look like one as it is to act like one.
- Be on Time
Nothing says “unprofessional and unorganized” like someone who is always late for meetings or other important functions. Being on time is an important component of the modern professional, as it proves to clients and coworkers alike that you take your position and their time very seriously.
If you find yourself constantly running late, you’ll want to make some changes to your daily habits to accommodate the new habits you need to succeed. Changing the time you wake up and go to bed can drastically improve your time management skills, offering more energy and restful sleep to help you succeed the next day.
If you’ve ever been in a meeting where the host (or anyone else, really) was late, you’ll understand how incredibly rude and insensitive it is for someone to barge in while someone else is speaking. Everyone stops what they’re doing, looks at the late attendee, and the meeting’s concentration is effectively broken.
Show the people around you at home and at work that you value their time by being on time for your engagements. In a professional setting, this will help set you apart from other employees or team members, adding punctuality to your already impressive roster of skills and attributes.
- Keep Materials Organized and Ready
A disorganized presenter will quickly lose the attention of his or her audience. Disorganization can cause the audience to disengage and even disapprove of the presenter and their message, so good organization is a requirement for nailing your next meeting.
Be sure to have all of your materials prepared and ready to go by the night before your presentation. Any longer, and you’re cutting it awfully close, which can cause stress. Stress leads to poor decisions, anxiety, and a less-than-stellar presentation the next day.
Avoid further stressing yourself the night before a presentation. Gather all of your materials, and then check them again. Be sure you have all of your tools (projector, laptop, etc), as well as any handouts you may be providing to the audience.
Work meetings can be stressful, but by following these four tips, you’ll be sure to nail it the next time you have to give a presentation. Be sure to dress appropriately, be on time, prepare your materials, and most of all, plan ahead. Good luck at your next meeting!
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