7 Reasons People Hate Being In Meetings With You

This article was on prdaily.com and was written by Adam Kleinberg.

I imagine everyone in our case studies class has been in a meeting before. I can also say, with almost 100% certainty, we have all been in meetings we absolutely hated. I know for a fact I have. We usually hate meetings because they take up our time, get in the way of other work, and are usually incredibly boring. Unfortunately, meetings are incredibly important and won’t go away. Most of us will attend meetings for the rest of our work lives and many of us will be the ones directing the meetings. This article by Adam Kleinberg gives 7 Tips on how to conduct and execute meetings so our attendees get the most out of the meeting and aren’t forced to sufffer. 

1. Have an agenda. An agenda doesn’t have to be incredibly detailed and complex. You do need to make sure you have an objective and a plan. As long as you know what you want to achieve in the meeting and know how your going to achieve it, you should be good. 

2. Talk with the group, not at the group. Do not have the meeting completely memorized and just go in, talk like your reading a script, then be done. You need to be able to listen and engage with your group.

3. Do not overwhelm them with data. If your doing a powerpoint, don’t have each slide crammed with data. Instead communicate one idea per slide. If you insist on having multiple points on a slide use three. Kleinberg has a good way to illustrate this, “As soon as you put a laundry list in front of people, they don’t see your lovely blouse or cool new jeans. All they see is a pile of dirty laundry.” In other words, keep it short and to the point. 

4. Don’t become overly familiar. Relationships are important to create, but rarely is it love at first sight. You want to have a relationship with your attendees but don’t confuse it if there already is a relationship. It turns people off if you cross the line to quickly. A good way to make sure you’re not crossing the line is to ask your self, “Has this been happening a lot lately?”  If this is true, tone it down.

5. Don’t look at your phone, especially when people are talking. This is a given, and should be used even out of the meeting room. Give people your full attention.

6. Don’t talk over people. Let others talk, even if you have a great idea. No one likes the person that is always 1-upping everyone and trying to show how brillant they are. Let everyone partake in the meeting to get the best brainstorm. Your ideas are valuable and need to be said, but wait your turn.

7. Don’t talk just to show you have value, when you really don’t have value. Kleinberg says these people are called “blowhards.” They talk just to be heard and create the illusion that they are valuable. No one likes a blowhard; so don’t speak just to be heard, speak to add value. 

These 7 skills are very important to all of us. We need to know how to conduct ourselves in meetings to get the most out of the the meeting, whether the meeting is with classmates, coworkers, or clients.


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