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Make An Impact At Meetings

If given a choice between having their teeth extracted and attending another work meeting, many people would opt for the dental work.

Meetings can be one of the most painful experiences of life - boring, interminable, pointless, frustrating, posturing, a waste of time. The list goes on and on. Many people also know that they are not making an impact in meetings. They make points that don't seem to "land" on the rest of the group.

As a consultant and coach, I've witnessed countless meetings where there is a lot of talking going on, but nothing meaningful being said. Nothing gets achieved, people speak but their points are ignored, there is no real listening going on and the agenda doesn't make sense because no one is paying attention to the results. As a consequence, I can predict with high certainty based on even one meeting how that leader, team or organisation is failing or succeeding.

Meetings will fail - you will fail - if you approach a meeting as simply an information-sharing exercise. Worse, you will always fail if you believe it's successful if you get away with hiding behind your laptop and never being called on to say anything.

If, however, you approach meetings with the purpose to accomplish something meaningful, then you will understand that there should be a purpose and a drive behind what you say. Simply making a statement or presenting a fact will not be helpful. Persuading others to achieve something will. That's where the art of persuasion comes in.

Take that attitude in with you to your next meeting and see the effect: Listen and Speak with the Purpose to Persuade.

Here's another practical key you can immediately apply to create greater impact: Don't give stream-of-consciousness answers or ask questions in that manner during a meeting. "Tentpole" your answer in a way that helps your listeners to visualise and remember what you have to say even as you say it. This will create greater impact and make your words stand out.

There's an art and a science to great meetings. Speaking persuasively is one part of the art. Learn how to do it well.

* Take my online Authentic Speaking course, where you can learn how to integrate your speaking and persuasion with the lost art of genuine, authentic communication. You can also work with me as your coach to transform your speaking and your results. Contact me to enquire.

(c) 2021 Peter J. McLean

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