WORKING ABROAD / JUN. 07, 2013
version 84, draft 84

How to Successfully Contribute in Business Meetings

Individuals working in a professional environment will be expected to attend meetings with their colleagues and superiors. Whether it is a meeting where tasks are delegated or the progress of projects are evaluated, an individual’s contribution to the meeting’s agenda highlights them as a capable and prepared employee.

Only speak up if it is worth it

Whilst contributing in a meeting is important, individuals should try to avoid contributing if they do not have any productive comments to make. Contributing successfully will reflect positively on you and show your employer that you are a valuable asset to the company; however, an ill informed and misjudged comment will have a detrimental effect on your image as an employee.

Prepare for the meeting

In order to successfully contribute in a business meeting, the first step is to be prepared. Before a meeting is held, the agenda is likely to be distributed or emailed to all those who are expected to attend. By planning and preparing your contributions beforehand, individuals increase the likelihood of making a successful contribution. Do some research and brainstorm in order to form some basic points, this will result in your entering the meeting with some clear idea of what you want to gain from the meeting.

Be on time

Secondly, you should never underestimate the importance of attending a meeting on time. Entering the boardroom eight minutes after the meeting has started will show your superiors an unprofessional and ill-prepared attitude towards work. Try to be on time, if not early, as this will help boost your confidence and be prepared. Finding a good seat in the boardroom; positioning yourself in such a manner that you are able to make eye contact with the person who is chairing the meeting.

Never interrupt

Once the meeting has begun, you should try to make your contribution at the perfect opportunity. Do not interrupt the speaker as it will lag the progress of the meeting and cause unnecessary delays (plus the fact it is very rude to do so!). If you feel that you have an interesting idea or comment, contribute to the meeting in a manner that is professional and positive. Make sure that you make eye contact with the people present at the meeting and ensure that you project your voice and do not mumble. Positive body language such as hand gestures and eye contact will help keep the audience engaged with you, resulting in them listening to your point and responding appropriately.

Don’t go off point

Try to stick to the point by keeping your contribution factual and concise. Once you feel that you have effectively communicated your idea or comment to the meeting, you should stop and take a step back so that other people present in the meeting can voice their opinions. It is important to take feedback and criticism in good spirit as portraying a defensive and negative attitude to responses will show an unprofessional attitude towards your colleagues.

 

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