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English Communication: Meetings- How to Succeed in the First Five Minutes

English Communication: Meetings- How to Succeed in the First Five Minutes

shutterstock_131585624Everyone goes to meetings.  You could be there to persuade.  Or you could be there to take in or contribute information.  Whatever your purpose, the first five minutes are not about impressing other people.  The first five minutes are about putting people at ease.

The first five minutes are your first impression.  Standard advice is great: smile, make eye contact, and offer a firm handshake.

Here are some other etiquette tips for meetings.   The first one is so simple and very basic to the North American culture.  If someone asks you how you are, don’t just say, “Fine.”  Instead say, “Fine, thank you. How are you?”   It seems obvious, but people often forget to do this, and it is likely to be interpreted that you are concerned only with yourself.

The second tip is for introductions.  Use your last name when you are introducing yourself.  In the American culture, our information systems are organized around last or family names. So for future reference people love to know what your last name is.

The third tip is that if you are a visitor and someone asks if you’d like something to drink, request water and be sure to thank them when they hand it to you.  People want to do something nice for you. And this little gesture is not too much. This is a certain way to make them feel good about themselves without inconveniencing them.  So little, yet it builds connection.

Next time: Are you going to a meeting to persuade?  More tips for putting people at ease.

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