How to Conduct a Meeting
At a training course I recently attended, the instructor's cell phone began to ring in the middle of the session. This was disturbing enough, but what was even more inappropriate was that she answered it! She took the call while 40 students sat and stared at her.
Personally, my respect for her dropped significantly. I was stunned that she didn’t know better. I also wondered about the people who had hired her.
After giving the situation some additional thought, I thought this presented an opportunity to define protocol for conducting a meeting or training session.
The following suggestions on how to conduct a successful training event are based on the etiquette world. These suggestions are designed to demonstrate respect for everyone involved.
- Be on time. Everyone is busy in this era of multi-tasking. Showing up on time indicates a respect for others and their time.
- Dress appropriately. Your attire should be clean, pressed and professional. This demonstrates, once again, your level of professionalism.
- Put your cell phone on vibe or leave it in your car. A visible cell phone is a distraction. Attendees may assume that it is going to ring and that you are going to answer it. This may draw attention away from the material presented.
- Respect the allocated time. Start on time and end on time. Individuals attending will appreciate your respect of their schedules or additional obligations.
- Be careful with personal stories. Personal examples can be helpful as well as humanize a presenter. However, too many stories or examples can take the focus of the session off track.
Following a few respectful rules of protocol for a meeting will help insure good results. It is easy to follow a few simple guidelines that will help produce a favorable impression and leave people welcoming opportunities to meet again. When we include respect in our agendas, we almost guarantee positive results!