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Even if you despise meetings, they can still benefit your career. They allow you to meet people who are not usually part of your regular team.

While attending a meeting, it’s essential to maintain a professional image. Proper etiquette can help you avoid getting in trouble and damaging your reputation. Here are some tips to ensure you make a good impression in your business meetings.

1. Don’t Be Late

Make sure that you arrive on time and are prepared for the meeting. This will help avoid wasting everyone’s time. Being punctual demonstrates respect for the organizer of the meeting and the time of all the attendees. Ensure you have time to arrive and get situated before the official start time.

2. Be Prepared

Before the meeting begins, make sure that the agenda is sent in advance. This will allow the group to work together and develop ideas for the meeting. Also, make sure that you have all the necessary documentation to participate. Before the meeting begins, write down any questions you might have and topics you would like to discuss. Doing so will help keep the discussion focused and avoid getting distracted.

3. Speak Up

It’s also crucial that you speak clearly and loudly so that everyone can understand what you’re saying. If you’re a fast-talking person, slow down to a pace that’s easy to understand. If you’re a soft-spoken speaker, be sure to work on developing a more professional and confident style. Having a well-designed and clearly-expressed speech will help the meeting run smoothly. It will also help everyone understand what you’re saying. This will save you from repeating yourself and help you appear more professional.

4. Sit Appropriately

If it’s a sit-down meeting, make sure that you adjust your chair to be at an equal height with everyone else’s. Avoid excessive fidgeting, slouching, or otherwise getting inappropriately comfortable. You want to appear professional and attentive.

5. Don’t Talk Over Others

One of the most important things you can do during a meeting is allow others to speak. While waiting for your turn, be patient and listen to what others have to say. You can also contribute to the discussion by keeping track of the topics that come up during the meeting. This will allow you to review them later and decide if they’re worth sharing.

6. Store Your Phone Away

According to etiquette expert Michael Pachter, keeping your phone on the table can be very distracting. Even if you’re not looking at it, it can still make noises and start lighting up. He advises avoiding using your phone at all while in a meeting. It’s rude to be texting while in a meeting; everything else can wait until you’re free.

7. Be Aware of Your Body Language

Being aware of your body language and habits during meetings can help you avoid becoming bored or distracted. It’s also essential to avoid doing certain activities that make you feel like you’re not being productive. Some of these include: fidgeting with your clothes, swiveling in your chair, or unnecessarily flipping through papers. Even if it seems minor, it can distract the people around you.