When it comes to business meetings and impressing people, all you need is some basic human psychology knowledge and a good strategy. They might be in higher positions than yourself or coming from another country, another culture, but make sure you remember they’re just humans like you after all. Knowing your field of expertise is a must but plain knowledge and facts won’t be enough to impress leadership at corporate meetings. Therefore, here are a few tricks on how to break even the toughest audience.
Start off on a good note
You know what they say about first impressions? Well, it’s basically all true because it’s our primal instinct to judge people the first time we see them. That impression might change or not but how you present yourself at the very beginning means a lot, especially in the corporate world. That’s why impressing your business partners starts way before the meeting – while making the plans and arrangements.
The first thing to consider is the venue for your meeting, particularly important if your company doesn’t have a suitable conference room. Ideally, you should choose a place near your premises but the most important thing is that it’s big enough. Nobody feels comfortable in a crowded room. Show your consideration by placing a bottle of water on the table for each attendee of the meeting – it’s a very thoughtful thing to do, especially if you know it’s going to be a long meeting. Finally, how you’re going to pick up your partners from the airport also matters – you can really impress them by opting for a limo rental. No one is immune to the glamour riding a limo brings to a business trip.
As you can see, the best way to impress people is to show that you care for them. However, this might be tricky when you’re doing business with a bunch of people you just met for the first time. Remembering more than two names is tough, especially when you’re nervous but this little trick can help you show you know them all. When you refer to people by their name, it creates an intimate bond between you and forces them to listen to you more carefully.
At the beginning of a meeting, draw a diagram of the seats and then when people introduce themselves, make sure you write down their names. Pay special attention to first names since that’s what makes a conversation more intimate. As the meeting goes, write down a few notes about each of the participants – something catchy or important they said. Then, when you start delivering your presentation, you can use that as reference points in your speech. “Just like Mark said at the beginning…”, “Let’s go back to what Anna said a moment before…” – these things work like a charm!
Ask the right questions
Although little tricks can spice things up and help you impress the leadership faster, it’s your expertise that will make you worthy of their interests. That’s why it’s so important to ask the right questions and show that you really care and know about the subject being discussed at the meeting. This can also save the meeting from being labeled as “pointless” or “boring” and thus boost the productivity among the team.
First of all, show that you’re capable of thinking about the issue from multiple points and ask “Whom else have we talked about this?” Experts claim this question holds a secret power since it calls for a completely different perspective or opposite opinion thus making the issue more relevant and deeply researched. Another way to show that you care about other’s opinions is to stop for a moment and ask some of the participants “Tell us, what your opinion on this is?” That will put emphasis not only on the person being asked but also on yourself and help you draw the attention of the leadership.
Tricks or not, the things we mentioned above really work – it’s up to you whether you’re going to try them out. Remember that you have nothing to lose but so much respect to gain, so go for it!