how to shine in any meeting

I work at a small agency and, as a result, am often asked to attend meetings that I have absolutely no clue about.

Like today.

I am traveling with the account team to a client’s office to take part in a 2009 planning brainstorm. The goal of the meeting is topline thoughts for ’09, blah, blah, blah.

I have a few techniques that help me when I am in this situation…and I found a few more courtesy of The Denver Egoist.

They are a succinct capture of the tactics I plan to use today, particularly:

“Ask a lot of questions.
I’ve always maintained that stupid people pretend to know things, while smart ones ask questions. (Also related is the corollary, there are no stupid questions, just stupid people). But if you’re not comfortable asking “So what is it exactly you guys sell?” go with the subtler “Can you tell me more about your business, Jim?” You’ll seem both engaged and interested.”

It should be fun.

I hope that they bring in a good lunch.

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2 responses to “how to shine in any meeting

  1. Great advice, but just be cognizant of everyone’s time: if it’s a long meeting, people may not appreciate the asking of gratuitous questions.

    Or the even more dreadful “Question that shows off just how smart I really am.”

  2. Agreed.

    The Questions Gambit, as I like to call it, is really most effective after the meeting when you’re getting drinks or just chatting. Nobody likes to talk about anything more than themselves or their business, and good questions get them on their way…

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