Company meetings are a great place to boost your image and impress the boss. Yet many professionals today totally overlook these opportunities. Consider using one or two of the following tips at your next conference-room gathering.

Leave your phone at your desk

acing-the-presentationIt’s annoying to whoever is speaking when the other meeting participants are distracted by their phones. Be the only person who comes without their phone, and the personal connections you make by simply staring the speaker in the eyes will pay off big down the road. The best way to make deeper, more rewarding personal connections at work is to make those around you feel heard, understood and respected.

Be positive

When the boss uses a meeting to introduce a new program or a big change, most people at the table will immediately start thinking about the negatively impacts. It’s human nature. To set yourself apart (especially in the boss’s eyes), react positively – but without making any commitments you can’t keep. Say something like, “I’m intrigued by this. I’m going to gather my team first thing tomorrow morning and start brainstorming implementation plans.”

You can always share any constructive criticism later. But by being initially positive, you’ll be perceived as a team player, a hard-worker and, best of all today, someone who can handle change and challenge.

Highlight your accomplishments

Accomplishments are what set you apart from the crowd. But you don’t want to come across as boastful in a company meeting. The trick is to mention your accomplishments while giving credit to others: “Because of all the new marketing that Julie’s team has been producing, I’ve been getting more calls this month and was able to increase my on-deck prospects by 15 percent. Thanks, Julie.”

Show how much you know

Come to the meeting prepared with a few facts or insights. If and when the time is right (don’t force it), share one or two with the group. Inside information about competitors is especially good, because everyone is always interested in the competition, and it shows you’re plugged into the industry at large.

Volunteer to research some options

Volunteering to fix a problem that comes up in a meeting is a big step that will distract you from your day-to-day responsibilities. Instead, volunteer to generate some additional insights and options. Say something like, “I know some of our competitors are facing this same situation. How about I do a little research to see what’s working and what’s not?”

Rephrase your criticism as a question

Instead of criticizing an idea, a plan or a new program in a meeting (which is almost never appreciated), phrase your concern as a question: “Are there many other brokerages that have had success with a program like this?”

Believe it or not, how your peers perceive you in meetings will directly impact your work relationships, your work responsibilities and opportunities, even your career success. So don’t let these rare, face-to-face group encounters pass without doing something to elevate your status.

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