12 March 2024

Meeting tactics: The secret of getting in early

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People in meeting room

There’s an easy way to raise your profile in meetings, says May Busch. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

May Busch says you don’t have to spend hours preparing lavish presentations to get yourself noticed at staff meetings. A well-placed comment at the start of proceedings can be equally effective.

When it comes to getting noticed by senior leadership, we often think we have to put on a show to get their attention, such as a presentation you spend weeks preparing for, sweating over every word of your slide deck, and practising it again and again.

What if I told you there’s one easy trick to raising your profile — and you can do it in less than 30 seconds?

This is what you have to do:

Speak within the first minute of your next meeting. Say something, anything, to start the conversation.

This can be greeting a colleague and asking about a project they’re working on. Or you can share an observation or question you have about the agenda. Or simply you can add to a current conversation with your unique perspective.

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Now, I can hear you thinking: “That’s all? Why is that so important?” Hearing yourself speak at the start of a meeting is crucial for the following reasons:

It quiets your self-doubt: Speaking up early shifts your mindset from, “Can I do this?” to “Here’s what I have to offer”.

It breaks the ice: Now you don’t have to worry or wonder when you’re going to speak up because you already have.

It gets the ball rolling: Once you’ve shaken off your nerves and worries, you can focus on contributing to the rest of the meeting.

You make a strong impression: Speaking up early with an insightful statement or question shows senior management you’re proactive, thoughtful, and engaged.

So in your next meeting, commit to speaking up early with a contribution. You’ll be surprised at the shift in how you feel and how others perceive you.

Your regular meetings are valuable opportunities to raise your profile and visibility.

*May Busch’s mission is to help leaders and their organisations achieve their full potential. She works with smart entrepreneurs and top managements to build their businesses. She can be contacted at [email protected].

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