I ran across a friend who nervously told me about an upcoming performance review she was facing at work. Talking to her reminded me of this checklist for anyone with an upcoming job interview, performance review, important client meetings, or any encounter where you really want to make a great impression. Once you get your foot in the door, this can take you to “open sesame.”
This is assuming you’re not in charge of the meeting and therefore have not created the ageda.
Checklist for High Impact at Meetings
1. ___ If possible arrive early. Sit close to the leader of the meeting.
2. ___ Appropriately dressed for the occasion. (Better overdressed than underdressed. Add pizzazz.)
3. ___ Paper/notebook and pen for taking notes. (Some executives even look for this and even if they don’t, it’s highly impressive to see people taking notes.)
4. ___ Notes on the issue. (Your concerns, risk factors, desired outcomes. Also your relevant experience and results from similar situations. If you don’t know what to say, repeat what someone else says.)
5. ___ Concrete examples. (If this is a performance review, bring a list of your accomplishments and the problems you prevented!)
6. ___ Three questions about the company/client/situation. You can also use the questions to get better acquainted with some of the people there.
7___ Something funny (can be a joke) or particularly pertinent to share with the others at the meeting. Write it down so you don’t forget, even if you don’t get a chance to tell your joke.
8. ___ Your homework. That means prior research on unknown-to-you attendees at the meeting. (Linkedin is the bomb for this.)
9. ___ A big smile.
Over-the-top BONUS: A professional handout on my ideas and suggestions for the situation. I brought one to a job interview once and while I didn’t get that job, I did get great work from someone who was in the interview.