How to be Awesome in Meetings
My profile states that I’m a “diva in the boardroom” so I try to take a lot of selfies in my cute Warby Parkers with the whiteboard in the background.
If I were to ask you “What is the most important thing for you, as an employee, to do in a meeting?” you’d probably respond with: “Don’t say anything stupid.”
Sure. That’s obvious. But what many people don’t count as equally important is how you show up to said meeting. How does leadership see you? How do you come off to your coworkers? What do people say about you when they take group trips to the bathroom? You need to be seen. If you want to soak up that delicious spotlight, follow these steps and in no time you’ll be the Khaleesi of the Conference Room.
Be your authentic self: If you’re annoyed or frustrated with what the other person is saying, don’t be afraid to show it.
It’s really important to me that if I think someone’s idea is wrong, I don’t just sit there and pretend like what they’re saying isn’t ridiculous. Why keep it to yourself when you can just show them what you’re thinking?
Does someone deserve an eye roll? Let ‘em fly.
Feel the need to let out an “oh jeez!”? Go for it!
And if you’re really trying to stretch your expressiveness, feel free to just place your face in your hands and let out a very loud audible sigh. It really releases all of that tension that builds up listening to that stupid idea.
Stay present: Get your energy up by eating in meetings
I know that if I go into a meeting and I’m starving I just won’t be present. I always bring my lunch to a meeting. You should know I’m quite the master of balancing a Starbucks cup and a plastic container of salad on my laptop. Come to think of it, no one’s praised me yet for that skill, I should probably bring that up to my manager.
The best food to bring to a meeting? Yogurt. It’s typically low in fat and full of protein. Key nutrients to help you remain ready for the rest of the day!
But make sure you eat all of it! Take big licks of the spoon backward and forwards to get all those vitamins into your system. You’ll need the energy to be able to stomach the rest of the meeting. It’s also a lot more delicate to talk with your mouth full of yogurt than with a sandwich. I mean chatting with your mouth full of Boar’s Head? That’s just rude.
Arrive Prepared: Bring every gadget you can
Do you want to prove that you’re a hot commodity? Have your laptop open, while using your phone, while checking your smartwatch, and you’ll come off as super important. The more you do it, the better.
And if you find yourself drifting off during a presentation, you can use the time to check email, read the Huffington Post, or click the “Backspace” button as hard as you can 15 times in a row.
I always try to snag a selfie during a meeting for one of my meetup/dating/networking profiles. My profile states I’m a “workaholic” and a “diva in the boardroom” so I wanted to make sure I got a selfie in my cute thick rimmed Warby Parkers with the whiteboard in the background.
Speak Up…Even if it has nothing to do with you.
If you feel like you haven’t had your voice heard, make sure to speak up. It will prove you’re involved. Use interesting intro’s like “to piggy-back on that” or “to echo what Julie is saying” and then just start talking. Generally, when I open my mouth I never have any idea what I’m going to say, but every time I open it something ends up coming out!
And of course, speak up if you disagree…even if you’re not totally sure what you disagree with. Leadership appreciates it when you question the status quo. It will prove that you’re passionate! I recommend using keywords like “best practice”, “ROI” and/or “Profitability.”
For example: “I actually disagree with that. I don’t think a best practice should be focusing on ROI for profitability.”
This demonstrates that not only are you tenacious, but you’re also in tune with the company vernacular!
At the end of the day, you want to stand out. Remember: if you don’t get yourself noticed, you’re just going to fade into the fluorescent ceiling light. Don’t worry about anything else. Seriously. Forget everything else and just focus on this.
For more ways on how to win at meetings, see our infographic here.
Editor’s note: These suggestions are horrible. Don’t do any of these things – on April Fool’s Day or any other time!