Building Better Business Meeting Etiquette

A business meeting can be held anywhere – in offices, hotels, coffee shops, conference centers, online, etc.  There are different types of business meetings and each type of meeting has its unique rules. The unwritten commandments of any meeting are:

License: Creative Commons image source
License: Creative Commons image source

a.    Politeness
b.    Respect
c.    Empathy
d.    Common sense
e.    Good behavior

If any of these commandments are violated, the meeting can fail. So, to ensure that your meeting is a success, here a basic primer on meeting etiquette:

Virtual Meetings

The meeting organizer must control the meeting. He must ensure that the meeting is brief and yet productive. He also must realize that many participants can slack off during virtual meetings, and therefore he must ensure that every item on the agenda holds the attention.

The organizer should communicate the meeting’s goals to all participants in a prior email. He should set expectations and communicate them to all participants. The attendees also should confirm if they are available on the meeting date and time.

The meeting should start as per schedule and its proceedings should be recorded by an assistant. Attention must be paid to action items and their allocation.

The organizer should send the minutes of the meeting to all the invitees, irrespective of the fact they couldn’t attend. He also should send the minutes to any person who is impacted by any decision made at the meeting.

Company Meetings

Such meetings are formal affairs that require advance preparation. All participants must double-check their data and presentations in advance and make suitable revisions/updates in the days leading up to the meeting.

Participants must arrive on time, follow the seating arrangement and the dress code. They must not carry their mobile devices. Carrying a notebook or diary and pen to such formal business gatherings is a must.

Protocol must be followed and senior colleagues should be allowed to have their say, participants must be brief and to the point while making their presentations. They must address the chair while making a point.

To Sum Up

There are certain unwritten common sense rules of every meeting. Participants should arrive before the meeting begins and be prepared with their items. They should interact with all the participants instead of forming silos and indulging
in small-group conversations.

They must listen attentively and speak only when they are given the floor. However, questions can be posed during the question time allotted after every topic – only relevant questions should be asked. Also, asking the right questions requires making relevant notes using paper and pen.

Participants should not bring any unannounced guests and control their urge to tap the pen on the table or their feet on the floor. Papers must not be rustled every now and then and participants must avoid doodling or unintentionally disturbing the speaker or their neighbors in any which way.

These are all commonsense tips that most office workers and business owners may know. What you have read is not the Bible of business meeting behavior – it is a plain and simple guide that will help you understand a business meeting’s basic expectations and plan accordingly.

About the Author: Evelyn A. Brown is an event planner who lives in Spartanburg, SC. She organizes meetings, conferences, product launch, weddings, and many more. She usually collaborates with EmpowerMint to find the proper venues for the events she handles.

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