Sound and look smarter

By Jason Demers via inc.com   Article

How to Sound (and Look) Smarter in Meetings

Come Prepared

… understand the true purpose of the meeting and come prepared with a handful of possible talking points, suggestions, or statistics related to the topic. … if even one of your pre-researched facts enters into the conversation, you’ll appear smarter and better prepared.

Speak Up

… So many people show up to meetings and just sit there and listen. … You want to show your team that you’re an active participant in the dialogue, and that you have ideas of your own. …

Play Devil’s Advocate

… Announce in advance that your position is one of curiosity, not of dissent, before expressing your concerns over any opinion. You’ll seem like a more critical thinker and a more invested member of the meeting.

Sit Still

… Many modern workers now break out their cell phones or tablets in meetings, possibly attempting to multitask but more often looking for a break from the attention of the meeting. Doing so can harm your reputation, even if the action is generally accepted. Similarly, using those comfy office chairs to spin around, bounce, or rock back and forth will make you look like a restless toddler. …

Lean Forward

… lean forward throughout the majority of the meeting. This will show that you’re paying close attention to whoever’s speaking, and will force you to keep your back straight. … Keeping your hands folded, or at least on the table, will add to your ‘interested’ positioning and help keep you from any nervous jiggling or movement.

Take Notes

Taking notes in meetings, even brief ones, shows your commitment to the topic at hand. Not only are you willing to spend extra time and effort in the meeting to pay attention, you’re also suggesting that you’ll be reviewing the materials later (even if you never do). …

Ask Good Questions

Finally, be sure to ask good questions of the other people in the room. Don’t make up questions for the sake of making them up, but do ask for more details and for elaboration on points you feel were glossed over. This gives you a bit of ‘participatory credit’ while showing that you’re paying critical attention.”

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