Struggling to get the most out of your in-person business meetings? You’re not alone; we are now so used to using video conferencing for colleague and customer meetings that doing it in person is more challenging.
This guide provides key insights into setting yourself up for success in any business gathering. Read on!
7 Steps To Productive In-Person Meetings
Business meetings can be unproductive and time-consuming if not done correctly. To get the most out of them, it is important to identify objectives, plan ahead, and ensure that everyone understands their role in the process. With the right preparation and outlook, you can ensure that your business meetings are productive and beneficial.
Moreover, you will need to go a step further with your in-person meeting preparation, so you present confidently as soon as you arrive at the meeting room.
1. Dress the part
When it comes to business, it’s always important to dress the part. Using Zoom or another video chat app for business meetings has made us a tad lazy in our appearance. We know we’re only seen from the shoulders up on the screen, so we can dress down, and our meeting participants are none the wiser. However, in-person meetings require more attention to our attire and personal presentation. A business suit is usually the way to go when meeting clients or prospects.
However, if you’re going to wear a suit, make sure it’s well-tailored. It’s a fact, not all trousers nor skirts fit everyone!. Not every business meeting requires a suit, so ensure you have smart casual dress options for the less formal attire your customers may expect.
2. Arrive prepared and on time
Meeting productivity increases when all participants arrive prepared with the necessary information to get down to business and understand the purpose of the meeting. Doing so will also ensure that meetings stay on schedule, eliminating having to wait for late attendees or addressing any issues that could have been handled before arriving. Being on time and prepared will save time and energy for all the meeting participants, thus making it a productive use of their time.
3. Stay focused on relevant topics
It’s not uncommon for conversations to drift away from the topic of discussion during meetings. To ensure that business meetings remain productive, stay focused on the agenda item up for discussion and resist the urge to drift off onto tangents or unrelated topics.
Don’t be afraid to politely state your opinion firmly and succinctly while at the same time being respectful of other points of view. Doing so will ensure that all meeting participants stay focused on relevant topics, make decisions more quickly, and come to an agreement in a timelier manner.
4. Stick to a time limit
Nobody likes a business meeting that drags on and on. There is much research, and much anxiety, that has fuelled studies about society’s decreasing attention span. Indeed, your business proposal is less likely to succeed if your peers are mentally drained after a 2-hour meeting!
Set a strict start and end time, and fit your presentation into this timeframe. This keeps you speaking concisely, your audience interested, and your proposal fit to succeed.
5. Only invite the people that need to be there
Business meetings can get crowded fast. If you want your next big business meeting to succeed, only invite the people that need to be there.
This means you should only invite people whose job is essential to your proposal or project. As a result, you can directly target the colleagues most likely to support your business endeavors and be more capable of helping you!
6. Make connections between meeting content and long-term goals
Spend time reflecting on how the content discussed in the meetings contributes to and aligns with the business’s long-term goals. Make clear connections between what was discussed and its larger impact on reaching your ultimate objectives. Seeing how everything fits into the bigger picture will help you stay engaged, motivated, and productive during meetings. It’s not just client meetings that need to be productive. Meeting your colleagues or attending board meetings also need your attention to detail and organization.
7. Don’t forget to follow-up
The meeting itself is not the most important part; the actions come from it. As the creator of the meeting or an eager participant, ensure you follow up on any action points relevant to progressing tasks and projects.
In-person meetings can be distracting and unproductive. Prepare well in advance and dress for success. Arrive with confidence and stay focused on your meeting objectives. Much of what is discussed during the meeting won’t need further action; however, when there is the need for follow-up, ensure it’s done so the meeting can be ticked off as worthwhile.
Finally, don’t shy away from meeting in person; they take more preparation and are more rewarding. After all, humans are naturally gregarious.