Meetings are an interesting moment in the workplace because not only they can be a great forum to share progress, accomplishments, issues and concerns, but they are also a place where you can shine and build a strong professional image. Or on the contrary, if it is not handled properly, your credibility can go down quite quickly.
So what to do to be more credible in meetings?
1- Always be on time
Yes, no one really likes going to endless meetings. However, you still need to be on time to meetings because when you are not then the message you give is “I have no respect for you or your time—nor that of other attendees, and I am not a reliable person”.
2- Always come prepared
What is the purpose of the meeting? What is the agenda? Even if you are not chairing the meeting, you still need to review these ahead of the meeting, and do your “homework”: what information can you prepare that might be useful or enquired about during this meeting. Are there any documents you should bring with you that could potentially bring value to the discussion?
3- Don’t allow yourself to be distracted
Turn off your phone: nothing justifies your checking your feed or your emails during a meeting. So the rule is: don’t be distracted by your electronic devices during meetings because it just looks bad and not professional.
4- Actively listen
Take notes on the discussion, highlight the actions you need to take after the meeting.
5- Understand the unwritten speaking rules
A few of these rules are: Don’t interrupt others. Speak up (talk loudly enough so that everyone hears you). Don’t save all of your questions for the end of the meeting (when there is no more time and everybody wants to end the meeting quickly).