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Proper Business Meeting Etiquette
Monday, 11 August 2014 - 10:40 | Views - 2,622
Adherence to the proper etiquette for a business meeting establishes respect among meeting participants,
helps the meeting begin and end on time, and fosters an atmosphere of cooperation.
A lack of etiquette and poor planning are two of the main reasons why many business meetings fail,
according to business expert Lyndsay Swinton.
Teach your employees business meeting etiquette to ensure that your business's meetings are effective.

Arrive to the location of the business meeting at least 15 minutes early. This allows you to find a seat and get situated before the meeting starts.

The chairperson of the meeting should circulate a meeting agenda to each participant at least one week in advance. Participants should call the chairperson to express any concerns about the agenda at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. The chairperson and concerned participant will then have time to determine if changes need to be made. The agenda should also mention the meeting's start and ending times as well.

Be Prepared
Each participant should come to the meeting with all of the materials and data she will need and an understanding of the meeting topic.

Meetings should have a break every two hours. Breaks should be 20 minutes long, and meal breaks should be 30 minutes long.

The chairperson should indicate what kind of attire is required for the meeting, either business casual or business formal, and participants should follow that rule. A representative listing of the attire would be helpful as participants may have differing views on what business casual and business formal is. For example, when listing the meeting as business formal, you can indicate that a button-down shirt and khaki pants are sufficient.

Keep the meeting organized by only speaking when you have the floor. Ask questions during the designated question period, and raise your hand to be recognized by the chairperson as having the floor. Do not interrupt someone while they are speaking or asking a question.

You may find that many of the questions you have about a topic are answered by the content of the meeting. Listen attentively to the meeting and take notes.

Nervous Habits
Avoid nervous habits such as tapping a pen on the table, making audible noises with your mouth, rustling papers or tapping your feet on the floor.

Cell Phones and Laptops
Turn off your cell phone prior to the start of the meeting. If you are expecting an urgent call, then set your phone to vibrate and excuse yourself from the meeting if the call comes in. Unless laptop computers have been approved for the meeting, turn yours off and lower the screen so that you do not obstruct anyone's view.

Do not bring unannounced guests to a meeting. If you have someone you would like to bring to a meeting, then contact the chairperson for permission to bring your guest. If permission is not granted, then do not bring him.
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