If you think you spend way too much time in meetings, you’re not alone. Most of us know the feeling of looking at the calendar, seeing one meeting after another, and realizing that you have virtually no time in the day to actually accomplish the things you need to do. It’s frustrating.
But if you’re going to be stuck in meetings, you can turn it into a better experience by making a positive contribution. If nothing else, a meeting is a visible forum for your ideas and professional presence. Nobody wants to be the person who just shows up and zones out. These tips will help you be a strong performer in meetings:
Be prepared. One of the biggest problems people cite about business meetings is a focus on too many questions and not enough answers. Half the time seems to be spent bringing people up to speed and answering questions that wouldn’t need to be asked if everyone had come prepared. Set a good example by making sure you know everything you need to know to go in.
Play to your strengths. If you were invited to a meeting, you’re there because someone thought you had something to offer. Take advantage of the chance to show your knowledge and competencies. Don’t be a showoff, but speak with confidence and a clear point of view.
Keep it short. We’ve all been in meetings with people who love the sound of their own voice. You can be the most valuable person in the room just by expressing yourself clearly and concisely. If there’s a concept that’s too complicated to explain quickly, don’t take everyone into the weeds. Give a quick overview and offer to follow up with more detailed information for anyone who’s interested.