Thursday, December 14

How to Make a Good First Impression at a Business Meeting

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In a competitive corporate culture with up-and-coming, upwardly mobile professionals clashing with the established executive order, it can be of great benefit to know how to give a good first impression at a business meeting in order to turn office politics into a strong tool rather than an exploitable weakness.

Fortunately for many, knowing the proper way how to give a good first impression at a business meeting just involves the combination of common business sense with practical application. For every company meeting, in most formats, there are a few universal tips to keep in mind.

Contribute Ideas

Respect is gained when hard work or smart work is exhibited. In terms of how to give a good first impression at a business meeting, this means being more than a bump on a log, a fly on the wall, or a sack of meat filling your seat. In order to wow and impress, you must actually contribute to the conversation, and in a way that progresses the dialogue, rather than regresses into conversation of a personal, unrelated, or irrelevant nature. Showing keen insight is always a good idea for making a great first impression.

Listen Before Speaking

Even when you believe you can confidently contribute valuable ideas to any discussion, your mastery of making a good first impression in meetings is not complete until you have shown more listening skills than speaking skills. Other workers, especially higher-ranked employees, may feel threatened, confused, awkward, or plain uncomfortable if they find you to be dominating the conversation. Even if you have a thousand fantastic ideas to share, knowing how to give a good first impression at a business meeting means wisely identifying when to speak after you have listened.

Exude Professionalism

For any professional occasion, making a good first impression in meetings can be instantly ruined if you act in a manner not befitting of your rank, position, or business. If you are constantly swiveling in your chair, touching your face, making noises with your mouth or hands, or other seemingly simple signals, you are instantly broadcasting to every around you the message that you are not someone who can be taken seriously. In order to have your ideas actually be heard within the discussion, be sure that you are oozing professionalism from every pore.

Knowing how to give a good first impression at a business meeting is a valuable skill, as is knowing how to make a great first impression anywhere else as well. In the feisty global business world, honing this knowledge into habit may be your first step toward career greatness or the final step toward conquering your niche.


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