By Hannah Connolly
e’ve all had terrible meetings. Forgot your train of thought, scrambled for that specific word, felt the creeping flush of red spread across your cheeks as you struggle to formulate an answer to an unexpected question. If you haven’t you are one of the lucky few, but from intern to c-suite executive a well-played meeting can change the trajectory of your career or the prospects of your company.
As a leader of a scheduled meeting, there are several fundamental elements you will be expected to bring with you to the board room: a well thought out presentation, research on the attendees and a few answers to some questions that will be likely coming your way — the basic requirements to tick off.
"Something as simple as a well-placed nod can be the difference between a meeting that goes your way and one that doesn't."
Yet, how often do you find yourself wishing you had spoken up more? Said that point before someone else had the chance to or asked yourself why you strung every word together with like? To deftly avoid post-meeting disappointment there are some vital skills that can help make a meeting not just go well, but go exactly the way you want it to.
One of the best ways to avoid a 'bad' outcome, is by identifying potential problems from the outset. Dubbed as the 'pre-mortem,' this seemingly morbid technique calls for a pre-retrospection by mapping out all future possibilities. Conceptualised by three professors in the late 80s and referred to as 'prospective hindsight,' research from the study suggested participants were able to accurately identify outcomes with 30% success rates.
Ahead of the big dates in your calendar pencil in time to allow yourself to preemptively identify the areas that hold the potential to go wrong, allowing you to know your weak spots and prepare for eventualities you may not have spotted before.
Body language is another important tool to harness, something as simple as a well-placed nod can be the difference between a meeting that goes your way and one that doesn't. Non-verbal communication can often get sidelined in the run-up to a presentation but it is important to be mindful of how you are projecting externally.
Mirroring is a classic tool in the belt of any boardroom veteran. A method of replicating the body language of the person or persons you are trying to get on your side. Mirroring allows for instant rapport and increases the potential for positive outcomes.
"Learn the skills that can help make a meeting not just go well, but go exactly the way you want it to."
Try matching the arm-fold of a prospective client or rest your chin on your hand to match your boss. Used strategically, and not too obviously, mirroring can be a great way to alleviate tension or demonstrate you are listening without having to say a word.
If you are looking to level up your boardroom powerplays even more then look no further than globally recognised confidence coach Tiwalola Ogunlesi, who has launched, Killing it As a Public Speaker.
Helping thousands of women across the world, Tiwa is on hand to help you “learn how to get next-level confidence, communication and people skills.” Become a member of this Club today and access a 12-month program of game-changing sessions that will help you make the boardroom your room.
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How to make a meeting go your way...
By Hannah Connolly
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