Face to face meeting basically is that kind of meeting where people gather to collaborate and communicate ideas and discuss important matters. Even though in this era of the internet, people mostly opt for virtual meetings using tools like ezTalks meetings, face to face communication is still considered important and almost every company organizes such meetings at least occasionally. However, just holding a meeting is not enough, for it to be successful, it needs to be planned well and proper etiquettes must be followed. If you are used to hosting only virtual meetings so long, you may not be aware of the face to face meeting etiquettes, but knowing them is important, and that is exactly what we shall discover now.
Though this may sound way too obvious, how many people really follow it? There can be many reasons for turning up late like you had to complete one last task, or you just got distracted by some important task you were involved in, and so on. But no reason actually justifies you being late in a face to face meeting. Such meetings are planned in advance not without reasons. So, you need to plan much ahead, set at least a few reminders, and do not get involved in any project at least a few hours before the meeting is set to start.
If you have managed to reach the meeting destination much in advance then make the most of that time. Introduce yourself to those who may also have reached. It will also be a nice idea to introduce people to one another, particularly if you find someone is shy and just hanging around the corner all by himself/herself. Any chit chat that you want to enjoy should be done before the meeting organizer starts speaking, and once they do, you should only to listen to him/her.
If you are sitting at the table and someone introduces you before the meeting begins, you should stand up. Also, if the meeting organizer introduces you to others present in the room then too you should stand up. Of course, doing so is polite, but at the same time when you stand up, it offers a better professional presence, which will earn you more respect.
There are a few things you need to remember as far as verbal communication is concerned. If you speak too much you may be considered insensitive or nervous, if you ignore others you could be termed being snobbish, and if you just discuss work and do not talk otherwise then others may feel you are limited. Do not forget these things if you want to impress others.
As for the non-verbal part, your body language speaks a lot more than words do. Posture, facial expression, and physical contact are also strong forms of communication. Try maintaining eye contact and do not create distractions by chewing gum, tapping your feet, playing with your hair, or by fidgeting.
You must have attended quite a few such meetings where you just wanted to bang the head of the person who is going on and on without getting to the point. So, you need to avoid other people feeling the same about you. You need to be as concise as you can, and for this, the first thing you must remember is to not repeat yourself. It can be difficult to realize when you are doing so, so you can look for such phrases like “Again”, or “As I just said”. If such words are about to slip out of your mouth, you must avoid it as you are likely repeating. Secondly, only offer necessary information, or so to say just get to the point once you are done with small little introductions.
You must have respect for those present in the room, and for the person who has organized the meeting, and for this very reason you should come with your agenda well prepared. You need to be ready to play your part, come with all the materials you will need, have enough understanding of the topic, and list down any questions you want to ask.
Your phone, laptop, and tablet everything needs to be kept away. If you multitask during the meeting, this is obviously going to get noticed by others, and they may get offended. You certainly are not the only person who has work to do once the meeting is over, so respect this fact. If you plan to use your device just to record notes during the meeting, then let others know about it beforehand. You need to keep your phone on vibration mode, and if it does buzz, try not to look at it every time, and if you are expecting some important call then leave the room to take the call.
If possible, try to come to face to face meetings with questions prepared, and ask them whenever related topics arise. You may also have questions coming up in your mind as the meeting progresses. Ask them while you are still on the topic and this will help things move efficiently. If you wait until the meeting has ended then everyone must have moved on to the other topics and things can seem difficult.
If it is you who is running the meeting then you can ask others if they have any questions after the completion of every topic. People will stay on point and the meeting will move faster, without you having to revisit earlier topics again and again.
Face to face meeting etiquette needs to be followed to help the meetings be successful, and to make sure the organizers, as well as everyone present in the meeting room, has a good time. Also, following such etiquettes can get you noticed, earn you respect, and thus help you climb the ladder of success.