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Five ways to be compelling at meetings.

Five ways to be compelling at meetings.

Nothing is worse than a dull, overly detailed presentation that makes people go to sleep. If we have to go to meetings, we should always go with a purpose and have something compelling to present. If you don't go with your plan, you'll be on the receiving end of someone else's. 

Some quick tips for your next meeting with peers:

  1. Ask for an agenda ahead of time, so you know what the topic will be. Then do your homework. Maybe it's about the new customer survey research or the engagement survey results. If so, make it your business to know the numbers and interpretations. Idea: contact the research department and find out what's new, what's important, what it means, and so on. Figure out how that might affect your team. How will it impact behavior? Bonuses, etc. 

  2. Ask to have something you care about added to the agenda and bring a compelling argument or presentation to share. Ask for five minutes and prep a concise visual handout. 

  3. Put your enterprise hat on and think like the CEO. What would you care about if you were in that role right now? What is the big picture right now, and how could you be more adventurous or innovative as a company? How can your peer team be part of what needs to happen next? 

  4. Make sure your timing is impeccable. Don't push your agenda until the moment feels right. Listen first, contribute to the conversation but take care not to dominate. Show respect for others ideas. Then when you do speak, people are more likely to listen. Then when you have the floor, present your ideas and thoughts. 

  5. Most of all, go to every meeting prepared. That means practice, practice, practice before you present anything. Write it down, read it out loud, then practice several times. Then when it comes to your turn to speak, it will come out as a well-thought-out idea, strategy, or contribution. 

Simple as that. Never, never, never go to a meeting with your peers unprepared, or they will come to see you as a follower, not a leader.