Meetings should be smooth and successful, be it business or personal sessions. A 'bad' meeting where the attendees arrive late or the purpose of the meeting is lost, leaves an unpleasant experience to everyone present in it. To ensure the meeting is productive, there are specific rules and guidelines to follow. These golden tips and meeting etiquette do’s ad don'ts include -
Etiquette before the Meeting:
Purpose of the meeting
It is essential to decide the use of the meeting before scheduling it. If there is no purpose, it is better not to schedule one.
Invite necessary people
It is crucial to invite only the people who are relevant to the purpose. Inviting random people who aren't associated with the meeting is a waste of time, both theirs and yours.
Choose the right time
Scheduling the meeting at the right time is helpful for everyone makes sure everyone is available at that time to attend the meeting.
The environment and the place where the meeting is held plays a significant role in its success. For example, it would be a failure and unproductive to schedule a business meeting in a club. Choose the right meeting room for meeting room etiquette; sufficient for the attendees is essential. It's crucial to get the right environment.
You cannot expect the attendees to turn up on time if you don't send them an invite and let them know about the time and the date. Send an invitation to the people in advance so that the people attending can reserve their time.
A longer than necessary meeting is very dull and tedious, and the attendees lose interest over time. Using more time than the required kills productivity and makes the attendees lose focus. As such, it is necessary to maintain a proper period that would hold the interest of all.
Outline what the attendees need to bring
If it is a business meeting, it is essential to let the attendees know beforehand what they need to bring in to the meeting. The must-haves may include note-pads, pen, laptop, and other essentials. If these aren't provided in the meeting, it would be better to let the invitees know beforehand.
Preparation for the meeting
Business meetings require slides and presentations for data to be highlighted to the attendees. It is crucial to prepare everything a day ahead so that there is no miscommunication and haphazardness in the meeting. Also, practice and revise the presentation beforehand to make yourself prepare for it. Also, check the presentation equipment in a trial run hours before the meeting begins.
Etiquette during the Meeting:
Never be late
Always show up on time; it creates a good impression and also is helpful for everyone. There is no excuse for being late for a meeting, whatever the reason. If you come to a situation which is unavoidable and you get delayed, make sure to apologize.
Assign a note-taker
If it is a business meeting, make sure you have someone who notes down the crucial points to be later sent as a summary of the meeting to the attendees.
Dress for the occasion
If it is a business meeting, dress up professional. If it is a casual meeting, dress casually and aptly. Outfit plays a significant role in creating a good impression and attending the conference. Don't overdress to draw attention to yourself.
Wait for everyone to arrive
It is a must-follow meeting etiquette to wait for all the attendees to come before you start the meeting. If you are way ahead, give a couple of minutes for the rest and then proceed. However, don't wait for late-comers.
Everyone should be introduced so that they are acquainted with each other and know the roles of the attendees in the meeting.
Status of Smart Devices
Though its not necessary to switch off the mobile phones, it is essential to turn the devices into silent mode to avoid interruption.
If someone is giving a presentation or a discussion is going on, never interrupt unless you are given your chance to speak. Forcibly interruption in a meeting is a strict no-no.
Always lend an attentive ear to the meeting. Make your presence shown by actively participating and giving your thoughts at the conference. Adjust the body language to show pure enthusiasm.
Make eye contact
Eye contact is a crucial factor in any good meeting. It helps in engaging the attendees into the discussion.
Stay focussed on the topic
It is common to stray off the subject in a business meeting, and a long business meeting can be tedious. If you stray away from the issue, try to lead the conversation back to the topic.
Speak confidently, and it shows your active participation and command over the topic. Also, a confident speech can convince people easily. However, don't rush when you speak, be audible and clear in your address.
Schedule time for breaks
Lengthy meetings should have breaks, it is crucial to make the attendees stay focussed and fresh.
Leave time for questions
If it is a business meeting, schedule time for questions from the attendees. It is an essential closing point for every business meeting and ensures the meeting is more productive.