How to Conduct Yourself at a Business Meeting

Give the speaker your attention at every meeting.
Give the speaker your attention at every meeting. (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Business meetings are an expected part of work life, yet many employees approach them with indifference or even disdain. Understanding the conduct expected during a business meeting can make all the difference to your career and your professional reputation. You can take your career to another level by putting your best foot forward at business meetings, simply and effectively.

Arrive at the meeting on time. Do not make others wait for you or disrupt a meeting that already has begun.

Dress appropriately. Most employers have a dress code; make sure you know what it is.

Know who is attending the meeting and why. Learn names and positions. Understand the politics of your business environment. Know who the movers and shakers are, and pay attention to any staff changes.

Do not cause distractions. Silence and put away your phone. Don't tap your pen on the table, speak out of turn, squirm in your seat or leave the meeting early.

Read the agenda before the meeting and know what will be discussed. If you are making a presentation, know who will be speaking before you and when you will be expected to begin your presentation.

Pay attention and listen to the other speakers. Aside from being common courtesy, you should realize there may be changes taking place that affect your work and your projects.

Wait your turn to speak. Ask relevant questions and contribute to discussions in a calm manner. If you are called upon and are unsure of what to say, ask for time to think about it rather than stumble through an unprepared answer. Make sure you follow up after the meeting.

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