During my time at my internship with the National Constitution Center, I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on several meetings about the launching of our newest exhibit American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. While sitting at these meetings, I can’t help but be entertained by all of the goings-on. I feel like I’m at a tennis matching, my head bobbing back and forth to follow the fast-paced comments of everyone in the room. It’s easy to see who gets the most floor time, but why is that? In “How to Be a Superstar in Meetings,” Bruna Martinuzzi makes the following observations:
Be a front-seater: Be involved; speak up when you have an opinion on a particular topic. Avoid behing a wall flower. The more present you are, the more of a chance you will have to be heard.
Build on the ideas of others: Pay close attention to what your colleagues are saying. Feel free to take something your colleague just said and add your own perspective. What can you add? What would you change? Do so in a constructive manner and your coworkers will appreciate your willingness to offer your own insight.
Criticize ideas, not people: It’s an important professional lesson to never step on the toes of your coworkers. You can offer criticism in a constructive way, without embarrassing anyone. Voice your concerns by asking for clarification and building from there.
Make positivity your hallmark: Obviously you can’t be positive all the time, but strive to be a team player by highlighting what has been working rather than focusing on all of the things that need to be kicked to the curb.
Be brief to be heard: Some of these meetings are only 45 minutes long with a 2 hour agenda. Be brief but concise in what you say so that everyone can get a handle of what you’re saying and tackle it while still keeping the meeting moving.
Do you have any other ideas on building rapport during meetings? Let us know!