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Attending a Meeting: Keeping to a Time Schedule

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 15 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Productive Efficient Time Schedule

If you are attending a meeting it makes sense to be well-briefed before the event. Being well-prepared means you will be more able to contribute in a productive, efficient way. Preparation also provides you with the confidence and capability to work within a restrictive time schedule.


In order to contribute successfully to any meeting you will have to gather background information on the purpose of the meeting. Reading through the agenda, before the meeting takes place, will give you a good foundation of knowledge and enable you to contribute in a professional, well-informed manner. It will allow you to work out what you want to say, how much time you have to say it in and give you confidence in your ability to deliver the information.

It is also useful to share information with other participants attending the meeting, if at all possible. Sharing views will enable you to acknowledge resistance from other people and work out a way of negotiating a compromise, before the meeting takes place.

Points of View

Meetings generally take place within a very tight time schedule and being aware of this will ensure your points of view are delivered in a professional, direct way. There is no room for time-wasting so ensure you are well-prepared, well-informed and capable of making your point of view heard.

Dress to Impress

Dressing the part is important, and contributes to the message you are trying to communicate. Looking professional will earn you added respect and increase your confidence. First impressions count so ensure your opening statements are powerful and meaningful. Make sure you have all your facts right, as you will only get one opportunity to have your say.

Speaking Part

Whilst the content of your speech is important, the way you communicate and deliver the information is equally important. Concentrate on speaking clearly and confidently. Take a deep breath before you begin and relax yourself mentally. Varying the tone of your voice, throughout your speech, will also help your presentation. Speaking clearly and succinctly will create a positive impression.

When other people are speaking acknowledge their contribution by paying attention and listening to what they have to say. Do not interrupt or fidget in any way. Show others the respect that they have shown you by actively listening.

Tailor what you have to say to fit the mood of the meeting. For instance, you may discover that other speaker’s views are very similar to your own and you may want to elaborate on this in some way. There are many ways of changing what you want to say to make it sound more interesting, so adapt your contribution to suit the meeting, and the time schedule.

To-Do List:

  • Check you are well-prepared, with relevant background information, before you attend a meeting.
  • Make sure you present a professional attitude by dressing and speaking the part.
  • Be aware of time restrictions when you are making your speech.
  • Take a deep breath and speak clearly, confidently and succinctly.
  • Pay attention when other people are speaking. Active listening shows respect.

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Meetings all too often run over their alloted times, as anyone who's been to a few knows. That can create backup. It's important that everyone in a meeting makes sure it doesn't go on too long. That means keeping everything as brief as possible, with everyone attentive to the clock. Whoever's in charge of the meeting shouldn't be afraid to cut people off as time passes.
Richard - 23-Jun-12 @ 8:56 AM
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