How to start your meeting well?
Smile, you're being watched. Dress, gait, expression, gestures, speaking...
Meeting organizers are examined from the very first seconds by the participants. Do you want to make a successful start and achieve your goals?
Discover the golden rules to get your meeting off to the best possible start.
Preparation and punctuality
Everything must be in place before the arrival of the participants, starting with your tie. Don't hesitate to sift through your outfit one last time in a mirror, as a poorly buttoned shirt or an untied shoelace can tarnish your image before you arrive. Check that the equipment you will be using (PC, video projector, markers, etc.) and the Internet connection are working properly. If a PowerPoint presentation is on the program, open the document on the first page processed and reduce the window so as not to reveal its contents. And above all, be on time! Set an example if you want to earn the respect of your audience.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND RULES TO RESPECT
Everybody got a seat? All eyes on you? Before talking about you or your company, flatter your participants. Thank them for coming, highlight their punctuality and the precious time they gave you. A few smiles appear on their faces? Congratulations, you have achieved your first objective: to create a relaxing setting and attract the attention of your participants. List the rules they are expected to follow, especially regarding the use of mobile phones, specifying that they contribute to the smooth running of the meeting.
The time to talk about you has come. Mention your name, your role in the company you represent and, possibly, your background if you feel your experience will work in your favour. However, don't fall into megalomania. Be cordial, relaxed and listen. Above all, look your audience in the eye. Humour, complicity and connivance are very effective weapons to get what you want. Invite participants to introduce themselves if they are not too numerous. This step is very important because it allows each member to become part of the group.
APPROACH YOUR TOPIC SUCCINCTLY
Briefly discuss the theme of the meeting and the objective to be achieved. Don't spread yourself too thin; you will have plenty of time to reveal your speaking skills later on. The purpose of the meeting is to set the scene and remind you why you are here. Take a short break to observe reactions and invite questions before moving on to the agenda.
READ THE AGENDA AGAIN
In principle, all participants received and reviewed the agenda in advance of the meeting. That said, it is best to review with them the main points to be addressed. The people in front of you may have just come from another meeting, from leaving their children at school or from eating out. Now they need to focus on their topic and you need to help them do so.
Last but not least, some advice: call the stragglers and troublemakers to order with a touch of humour or irony. You will communicate to them that your soft hand can also be firm.