Sound Smart in Meetings

HBS Blogs

In this digital era, everything is happening through online, organization is no exception to this. Making email, managing projects, teams, clients & vendors, doing sales through e-commerce and many. But the meeting of people and face to face interaction ease develop ideas, decision making, analyzing, assigning the roles & responsibilities, exchange of information and relationship. are right, face to face meeting through video conference is possible, even it is acceptable for Indian Companies, as per the Companies act they shall conduct the board and shareholders meeting. But still, face to face meeting stands the test of time.

Why Physical meeting?

Studies found that an average employee spends approximately 30% of work time in the meeting. So, identify the goals of the meeting. The meeting should be effective to satisfy the purpose.

Kind of meeting

Depending on the participant of the meeting, the kind of meeting also differs, few of them:

Frequency of meeting


As a presenter of the meeting, you should follow the below stuff while you conduct the meeting

Venue –The place of the meeting should be easily accessible, appeal to the target audience and seating capacity.

Time-Fixing the time of the meeting is vital, the time should be convenient for the attendee.

Duration– Make the meeting duration as minimal as possible, less time spent in a meeting can be productive and interesting.

Preparation of Notice & Agenda– The notice of the meeting should contain, venue, date and time. The agenda should contain the list of all items that need to be discussed in the meeting.

Send notice with agenda through the mail -Intimate to the participants about the meeting through email or using a Google calendar or Microsoft calendar is a good option.


While conducting the meeting, never miss the below stuff:

Arrive at the venue early – As a presenter, be present at the venue before twenty minutes.

Conduct as per Agenda – Conduct meeting as per agenda, within the time limit specified in the notice.

Providing notepad & pen – Providing notepad and pen to the participants with agenda.

Refreshments – Depend upon the duration of the meeting, provide refreshment. A light snack is a better option, don’t make the attendee sleep.

Closing the meeting – Stick to the agenda. Remind participants about the closing before ten minutes. Cut off the discussion politely like “I think we have covered everything on the list”. Thank the attendees.

Minutes of the Meeting- Appoint a person to take notes for preparing minutes of the meeting. In the minute’s mention the date, time and venue, record the attendance, agenda progress, key decisions, and action items.


Dress code – You should wear right outfits, depend upon the type of meeting. Professional dress code is important for the office meeting. Dress code is important because a report provides 55% of workers agree that wearing business attire makes people more productive. A business suit is always a good option for both Men & Women.

Men should wear a solid colour, full sleeve shirt & jacket or suit, trousers, a Tie, and shoes with matching socks. No bold check shirts.

Women shall wear a western outfit preferably cotton or chiffon buttoned-up shirt, tailored trouser suit or wide-legged trousers or a pencil skirt. If you prefer to wear Indian outfits try kameez, kurtas or saree in beige/other sober colours. Footwear shall be Court shoes and a low heeled, closed toe pump. Wear minimum makeup & light jewelry. Try to avoid flashy colours in the dress.

For example, The Royal family always has a black attire during travels, in case of death in the royal family, they able to wear appropriate attire for mourning.

sound smart in meeting hbs

Be attentive physically and mentally – Smile and nod, show you are hearing what they are saying. Connect with your eyes but don’t stare the speaker.

Verbal communication – A proper tone of voice and pitch are an effective way of communication to interact with the speaker.

Body Language – Non-verbal communication plays a vital role while you attend a meeting. It includes gestures, facial expressions and anything else without speaking.

Take Notes – Taking notes during the meeting can lead to good listening.

Digital distraction – Self-ban for cell-phone and laptop during the meeting. No mail checking & WhatsApp status check, turn off the notification during the meeting.

Table etiquettes – Introduce yourself if anyone sitting at the table. If someone arrives at the table, stand up and greet the person. Cut only enough food for the next mouthful. Do not play with your food or utilities. Don’t hold food on your spoon while talking.

Following these tips and tricks will make you the master in the art of meeting.

“The next time you are in a meeting, look around and identify the yes-butter, the not-knowers and why-notters. Why-notters move the world”-Louis Pierson.

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