Seating and Attire
At a business meeting, you should dress professionally just as you would at the office. A meeting is not an opportunity to dress casually unless specified by the leader of the meeting. If you are unaware of the particular dress code for the meeting you are attending, you should dress conservatively in business casual or nicer attire. Some meetings may have pre-determined seating. You should sit where you have been assigned, unless you have spoken to the leader before hand about needing to leave early. In which case, you should sit close to the door as to interrupt as little as possible when you leave. You should not leave early unless it is an absolute necessity.
Stay Composed and Attentive
During the meeting, the speaker should have your full attention. You should hold eye contact with the speaker any time that you are not taking notes or reviewing material relevant to the meeting. You should not talk to your co-workers during a meeting, and you should save your questions until the end of the meeting. Avoid any distracting activities like fidgeting, tapping your pencil or foot, playing with your hair, applying makeup, reading unrelated material, or daydreaming.
Asking and Answering Questions
Throughout the meeting, you should make notes of any questions that you have. At the end or “Q and A” portion of the meeting, you should raise your hand to ask questions. It is polite to let the people in the more senior positions ask questions first. Whenever you ask questions, keep them clear and brief. Only ask one question at a time, and wait for the answer before you move on to the next question. Be sure to be attentive to every question so that you do not repeat an already answered question. You should also be prepared to offer solutions to any problems discussed in the meeting.
Business meetings should have a set agenda and all attendants should stick to the topics at hand. If the meeting deviates from the agenda, it is the leader’s responsibility to get it back on track. The meeting should have a set ending time, and the leader should make sure that the meeting ends accordingly. Meeting attendants should also avoid any idle conversation that could cause the meeting to run late.
Proper etiquette is vital in conducting a smooth and productive meeting. Any attendant who acts without proper etiquette can negatively affect their colleagues and their company. By following these tips, you can be sure that you act appropriately in every meeting you attend.