No matter what business you’re in, chances are you’re going to be invited to your fare share of meetings. Adhering to the proper etiquette for business meetings will establish respect among the other participants, and ensure that the meeting is productive for everyone.
Here are a few business meeting etiquette tips to keep in mind:
• When invited to a business meeting, RSVP in a timely manner.
• Be punctual.
• Come prepared with pen and paper, and any other materials you will need for the meeting.
• Turn off your cell phone. If you’re expecting an important call, set your phone on vibrate and quietly excuse yourself if the call comes in during the meeting.
• Avoid side conversations during the meeting. This is very distracting to the presenter and other attendees.
• Speak only when you have the floor. Ask questions during the designated question period and raise your hand to be recognized by the chairperson.
• Keep your questions brief and on topic. Ask only one question at a time to allow others to contribute to the conversation.
• Listen carefully and take notes.
• Avoid fidgeting, tapping your pen, drumming your fingers or shifting papers around during the meeting.
• Attend the entire meeting. Leaving the meeting before it is adjourned—unless you have alerted the chair beforehand – is disruptive to the other attendees and the speaker.
• Respond to action items. Once the meeting has ended, complete any tasks assigned to you as quickly as possible.
When attending your next meeting, make sure your attention is laser-focused on the topic at hand and what you need to accomplish. Don’t let distractions get in the way.