Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to enter a room

How do you enter a room? Yeah, yeah, I know--you open the door and walk in.

No, what I'm referencing here is the attitude one presents when entering a meeting room and the impression you provide before a meeting even begins.

Entrepreneur magazine tackled that very topic in an effort to give those of us in the business world a tip or two on how to enter, and command, a room.

Tip #1: When introduced to someone, say their name back to them and, most importantly, remember their name. Saying their name back to them, 20 or 30 minutes into the meeting, suggests respect.

Tip #2: Don't give out business cards before the meeting begins--you're not a card dealer.

Tip #3: Look everyone in the eye for a slight beat longer than is comfortable.

Tip #4: Don't carry yourself in a way that can be described as "jaunty" (their word--not mine. And, rather than explain it here, go ahead and look it up.)

Tip #5: If there are less than six people in the room, shake everyone's hand. If there are more than six, shake a few hands and nod to the rest--otherwise, the hand-shaking gets out of hand.

Tip #6: Avoid the phrase "let's do this!"

Tip #7: No fist bumps. (See #5.)

Tip #8: Don't talk about anything that isn't pleasant. For example, don't complain of the (a) heat, (b) cold, (c) that you have a cold or (d) the traffic.

The article concludes, "You're amiable and confident and pleased with the way things are going. You're ready to talk and to listen. You haven't given them any reason why they couldn't see themselves giving you a lot of money or offering you a contract or partnering with you in some way. You're someone they could see themselves doing business with, is what we're trying to say. All that, and you haven't even sat down yet."

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