At some point in your career, you will have to take charge and lead a meeting. But, commanding a room and asserting your presence isn’t as easy as it seems. Here are three things that will help you take charge:
- Sit at the head of the table. Before the meeting starts, go in the conference room and set up your stuff at the head of the table. But, don’t stay in there, looking like a lost puppy, waiting for people to arrive. Instead, put your stuff down, go grab coffee or water, and come back at the start time for the meeting. Now, you can simply walk in and sit down at the head of the table. Boom, you’re in charge.
- Announce the meeting format upfront. If you plan to give a presentation, followed by questions, let everyone know that upfront by saying something like “good morning everyone, I’d like to start by presenting this quarter’s results, at the end, I will open the floor for questions.” This way, everyone knows that their questions will be addressed at the end and they shouldn’t interrupt.
- Don’t let your pushy coworker highjack your meeting. Despite telling everyone their questions will be addressed at the end, you will almost certainly have a coworker attempt to highjack your meeting. Rather than being steam rolled, if you are interrupted simply say “Jack, thanks for your input, we can address your concerns at the end when I open the floor up for questions.” This hopefully lets Jack know to simmer down and wait until the end.