To ensure that you maintain your colleagues’ attention in this screen fuelled world, there is an added need to be crystal clear of your objective. A meeting is a means to an end, never an end in itself.
2. Be aware of your physical presentation
Dress appropriately in single block colours to avoid distraction. Look behind you to ensure the backdrop your colleagues are witnessing is one you want to reveal.
3. Warm up for the meeting.
No actor, musician or dancer would dream of going on stage without warming up physically and vocally – why should a business executive not do the same? The stage may be different but the spotlight is not. Do a physical shake out in order to ease the muscles ensuring that you appear relaxed and in charge. Run some scales and gently warm up your voice in order to come across with authority and gravitas.
4. Sit "well" and own your space
Ensure your feet are flat on the ground and that your sitting bones are comfortably in the back of the seat. Sitting too close to the screen can come across as being mildly threatening to the viewer. Use gesture with definition, but also with grace.
5. Focus on your breathing
Breathe from the diaphragm to stabilise yourself so that you can deliver your message fluently and with impact. Practice breathing effectively so that this becomes natural to you – essential during stressful conversations.6. Use vocal variety and modulation to increase your personal impact
7. Articulate your message with clarity and brevity
A monotonous voice is difficult to listen to so ensure that yours is full of vocal colour. Practice by reading out loud and varying tone, emphasis, and pitch and never forget the power of the pause.
8. Think of yourself as the conductor of an orchestra
Ensure that every word can be easily understood by opening your mouth well and using your articulators - tongue, teeth, lips, hard and soft palate - to maintain clarity. Keep your message short and concise to achieve maximum impact.
9. Become an excellent storyteller
If you are chairing a meeting, it is your job to bring people in to ensure that one person speaks at any one time and that you are responsible for summarising what they have said, before moving the conversation along.
Create a narrative for the meeting so that it flows efficiently. Use examples and stories and ask questions to engage your colleagues in order to get buy in so that you influence effectively.
10. Close with passion
End the meeting with definition ensuring that everyone is clear about the next steps. Summarise any decisions made and repeat any action points that individuals have agreed. Above all, try to close with confidence and positivity – a sensitively chosen quote can work wonders. Thank everyone for their time and contributions and don’t forget to smile.