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How to Succeed in the First Five Minutes for Meetings

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


Blog 201 on Friday, July 2, 2021 Everyone goes to meetings, face-to-face or virtual. 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 critical. They are not about impressing other people but about putting people at ease.

First impression is key. smile, make eye contact, and offer a body greeting appropriate for the now. With Covid still around a firm handshake may not be the greeting of choice. Use local custom, perhaps it is a slight bow, hand palms touching with a slight bow, or elbow greeting.

Here are some other etiquette tips for meetings.   If someone asks you how you are, don’t just say, “Fine.”  Instead say, “Fine, thank you for asking. How are you?”   It seems obvious, but people often forget to ask about the other person, and it is likely to be interpreted that you are concerned only with yourself. The “thank you for asking” is gracious.

The second tip is for introductions.  Be sure to include your last name when introducing yourself.  In the North American culture, information systems are organized around last or family names. So for future reference and knowing how to contact you, people love to know your last name.

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. 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.

Be sure to watch our English Speech Tips videos and Accent Reduction Tip videos  for more English pronunciation and accent reduction exercises.

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