How to boss your next business meeting

Last time we went all Julie Andrews and asked our business buddies to list a few of their favourite things (can you say that without singing?) about being the boss, business meetings were decidedly absent from the list. We get it, they can be a bore and we’re yet to come across anyone who doesn’t find them a bit daunting. That being said, they’re a necessary evil if you’re at the helm of your own hustle. Fortunately, bossing your next business meeting is easy when you know how. Start here and prepare to knock their socks off.

Dress the part

When you work for yourself, especially from home, the humble hoodie has a tendency to become your uniform. Business meetings come as a bit of a shock to the system when the only human contact you’ve had in three days was the postman, but even if the thought of wearing shoes fills you with dread, dressing the part is half the battle won. It doesn’t have to be as hard as you think; decent denim can stay, just switch your hoodie and Converse for a smart sweater and ‘sensible shoes’ as your old mum would call them. Times have changed in creative industries and meetings needn’t mean getting suited and booted to show you mean business anymore.

Fools rush in

There’s nothing worse than when the nerves hit and you find yourself instantly transformed into a blabbering mess. Our lives might move at a million miles per hour but small talk is still underrated when it comes to making an impression. How was their day? Where has the heatwave gone? How was that week in Sardinia they were counting down to last time you spoke? Small talk breaks the ice and relaxes the situation. It also means that by the time you get down to the nitty-gritty business stuff, you’ll already have made both your acquaintances and a good first impression.

Do your homework

What’s the saying, fail to prepare and prepare to fail? Never is this old adage truer than when it comes to business meetings. You’re here to make an impression so now is the time to geek out. Do your homework, get to know the business and the people behind it. Brush up on the industry enough to prove you know your stuff when the client asks a question. It doesn’t mean you need to know the topic inside-out but a basic knowledge will prove you’re interested and not just there to make a quick buck. Last but not least, make sure you’re prepared with the facts and figures about your own business should any questions arise. It’s the part that always trips people up on Dragon’s Den; don’t be that guy!

Short is sweet

We’re all busier than ever and nobody goes into a business meeting hoping it will run over. When time is money it pays to keep it short and sweet, so once the introductions are done and the small talk has got conversation flowing, get straight to the point without waffling and going off on a tangent every two minutes. Your meeting mates will love you for it.

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