First impressions are crucial at a business meeting. Chances of it going well are higher if your presentation is flawless and impresses the attendants. Therefore, it’s essential to prepare in advance if you want it to go smoothly.
Below are five tips to help you present yourself effectively.
1. Be Ready to Answer ‘Who are you?’
Have you ever had someone important ask you who you are and froze? Well, it’s a most reasonable question that the attendants will ask, and you must be ready to answer.
Start by stating your full names followed by qualifications and finally years of experience. Sum it up in one or two sentences. Remember, this is information they can quickly gather online, so avoid dwelling on it.
Starting your introduction with your credentials and experience helps them to know they can respect and trust you enough to consider going into business. However, avoid bragging or making boastful comments that can put them off.
For instance, if you went to Harvard Business School, refrain from asking if they’ve heard of it. That comes off as boastful and can kill the whole meeting before it begins.
2. Introduce your Company
In one or two sentences, introduce your business. Now that the attendants feel more at ease with you present your company or industry. Make sure the introduction is as brief as possible. You’ll go into details later on.
Follow this with a brief history of how you landed at your current role. When was the company founded, and why? Is there a particular reason behind it? State this in one or two sentences. Always refrain from giving long-winded explanations during the first meeting.
Frankly, the first meeting is about establishing trust between you and the people attending the conference. Afterward, you can delve deeper into details and answer some in-depth questions.
3. Be Articulate and Confident
Yes, it’s an important business meeting, and you might be a mess due to fear. Still, don’t let it show. Try your best to remain poised, articulate, and speak with confidence. Remember, you are here to sell yourself and your company.
If you don’t present yourself with confidence and speak properly, it’s hard for anyone to understand, let alone trust you at this point. Therefore, you can do some breathing exercises before the meeting to calm your nerves and practice your presentation. Also, use the best business presentation design for the meeting.
4. Dress the Part
Today, business meetings vary in terms of dressing. While some professions still believe a suit and tie is the perfect business attire, others tend to refrain from this rule.
For instance, when meeting Silicon Valley tech leaders, you don’t want to come off as stuffy. So a good pair of jeans, a clean T-shirt or top, and sneakers will do the trick.
However, if the meeting is with Wall Street executives, sharp business attire will do. Therefore, make an effort to research the best clothing for the meeting and dress the part. You notice people take you seriously if you present yourself dressed correctly.
Moreover, make sure the clothes are clean, well-pressed, and fitting. Dressing in oversized clothes makes a poor first impression. Also, be well-groomed. Get a hair-cut, clip your nails, and apply some perfume to smell nicely during the meeting. It is like showcasing the new hire welcome kit in a full package – making a good lasting impression.
5. Be Ready for Questions
During your presentation, you might need to answer some questions. As a way to test you, some attendants can ask questions randomly during your presentation. Be ready for this to avoid getting flustered.
For example, you can have a friend coach you using practice questions about the business meeting. Do some research about the attendants and be ready to answer if they ask you any related questions.
Additionally, be ready to venture off-topic. In a bid to learn more about you, you might need to answer some off-topic questions. Do so while remaining poised and composed. Remember, your every move is under a microscope.
Business meetings are a crucial part of growing your company. Perhaps you need a new investor or want to form a partnership. In that case, how you present yourself matters. Above are five tips to help you conduct an effective business meeting.