Publications & Products
Volume 2, Issue 7

Rules of Conduct for the Conference Room

When managers prep for their next team meeting, they should consider not just what they'll say but how they'll say it, says a communications professional.

Carolina McMillan, contributor to The Daily Muse, recently shared a list of meeting dos and don'ts for managers. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Do—Face the group. "Orienting your body toward your audience helps with voice projection and also makes you appear more approachable, as you—literally—open your space for discussion. It also gives them a clear view of your facial expressions," McMillan says.
  • Don't—Stand still. "Without enough movement and gesturing, the overwhelming impression conveyed is that of being demure, careful, unwilling to take risks, timid, or frightened with little to contribute," McMillan says. In large meetings, she suggests that presenters walk from side to side, forward and back, covering about 75 percent of the available space. In addition, she says, "If you know there's an uninspiring podium in the conference room, request a handheld microphone before the meeting. You'll be able to move about more freely."
  • Don't—Cross your arms. "By crossing your arms at the end of your presentation, you unknowingly closed that open line of communication," McMillan says. "Studies show audiences are less likely to respond to someone whose arms are crossed because it gives the impression that the conversation is closed or that the speaker is guarded or insecure. Instead, smile and keep your arms bent at your sides, poised to begin gesturing when it's your turn to speak."

This article is from the Aug. 13, 2012 issue.

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