How to appear intelligent during meetings

It’s important to look like you’re informed and interested during business meetings, but sometimes this can be difficult if you start daydreaming – especially if the chairperson isn’t doing a good job of keeping it interesting

Two Business Women Showing Businessman Something on a Computer

Here are some top tips on looking smart in meetings.

1)    Draw a diagram

Everyone loves a diagram – they’re very visual and far more entertaining than talking for 30 minutes. So get out your marker pen and get squiggling on the whiteboard. A Venn diagram with well-drawn circles will be even better to get your colleagues discussing what should info should go where.

2)    Take notes

You’ll instantly look more studious if you take notes throughout the meeting – especially if you nod wisely while scribbling. Just make sure that no-one expects you to write them up. (If asked – say they’re for your own personal reference.)

3)    Convert percentages into fractions

When a colleague states that “25% of people prefer X” – chip in with: “So that means 1 in 4 people” and make a note on your pad. Everyone will think you’re a maths genius.

4)    Repeat important statements

If someone says something utterly brilliant – make sure you affirm the statement – it will reflect well on you. After the clever person comes up with a great phrase, simply repeat what they’ve said slowly – pre-faced with: “Now just let me repeat that.” You’ll bathe in the transferred glory.

5)    How will this cascade down?

When making important business decisions, always ask how this will cascade to colleagues further down in the chain. Even if you don’t know the answer, it looks like you’re considering the needs of the entire business from the top down.

6)    Get up and walk around

If someone gets up and paces around the room, they immediately look earnest. You’re sure to get respect for how deeply you care about the meeting – even if you’re just doing it for the exercise.

7)    Ask the presenter to skip back to the previous slide

It will look like you’re paying more attention than everyone else. And if you ask the presenter to expand on a certain point, everyone will think they’ve missed a vital point that only you understood.

8)    Make a joke

As long as it’s related to the subject being discussed, a bit of humour always goes down well and lightens the mood.

9)    Go outside for an important call

It you excuse yourself for a vital phone call, your colleagues will think you’re incredibly busy and important. Just make sure you don’t get caught playing candy crush on your phone instead.

 Posted by Ashleigh Sharp

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