Tips for Leaving a Good Impression During a Business Meeting

You only get one shot to make a good first impression. Even though business meetings are supposed to be all about facts and numbers, the truth is that the other party’s personal opinion about you is definitely going to impact their decision-making process. Fortunately, this is a knowledge that can easily be turned in your favor. With that in mind, here are several tips for leaving a good impression during a business meeting.

1.Start with a proper introduction

The first thing you need to focus on is a proper introduction. In a case where the person that you’re trying to impress has no clue who you are, you need to start by stating your full name, your role in the company and even give them a little bit of your career history (if they ask for it). This last part is particularly tricky, seeing as how it can (unnecessarily) drag on and on. So, a sentence or two will suffice. As soon as you’re finished with this, you might want to say a word or two about the point of the meeting, after which you’ll be ready to get started.

2.Master the art of non-verbal communication

The next thing you need to learn how to do in order to leave a good first impression on anyone is master the art of non-verbal communication. People who genuinely smile tend to be perceived as more trustworthy. Your self-confidence will be determined by your posture and your overall behavior. Keep in mind that while to some people, this comes naturally, it’s also something that you can actively practice in front of the mirror. Mastering the art of non-verbal communication is far from easy but it’s something that you can benefit from both personally and professionally.

3.Show interest

Another thing that can win over virtually anyone is showing an active interest in the person that you’re trying to impress. As Robert Breault once said, charisma is nothing more than a fancy name given to the knack of giving people your full attention. Everyone has their points of interest and if you allow them to speak about theirs, they’ll automatically start thinking positively about you. Sure, you might not be particularly interested in what they have to say but focusing on their words and participating in the conversation may help win them over.

4.Come prepared

Even though we’ve already suggested that you need to give the other party a chance to speak up, there’s still an agenda behind every business meeting and it’s up to you to make it come to life. For this, you need to come prepared. First, you need to prepare a presentation, rehearse it to see if you can make all the important arguments in time, as well as to increase the efficiency of the presentation. Next, you need to ensure that you have all the equipment you need. For instance, if you intend to use the whiteboard, you need to have a whiteboard marker at hand. If you’ll focus on your PowerPoint presentation, make sure that the projector is in proper working order.

5.If you’re having a bad day, take a rain check

While postponing a meeting may seem like a bad business etiquette, keep in mind that leaving a bad impression during a meeting is even worse. You see, the fact that you came as agreed or didn’t postpone it will not be seen as a plus. On the other hand, your lack of focus, bad mood, the fact that you’re distracted due to personal problems are factors that will have an impact on the image of yourself that you’re trying to create. Therefore, when possible, it’s usually for the best to simply take a rain check.
One last thing you need to keep in mind is that the opinion of the other party can change in the future. Therefore, you need to be consistent in your attempts to maintain this advantage you’ve created so early on. With these tools under your belt, this shouldn’t be that much of an issue.

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