It can be nerve-wracking to fill the shoes of your boss during a business meeting, but with preparation and a confident attitude, you can make both your boss and your company proud. Learn how to represent your boss successfully and effectively with these strategies.
Understand the Big Picture
If you are tasked with representing your boss at a business meeting, make sure you are well-versed in your role prior to the gathering. Meet with your boss to review action items, appropriate explanations or angles for discussion, and questions you should ask employees so that you can gather the information the executive team needs to make decisions. Bring a notepad and jot down key notes while briefing with your boss so you have a cheat sheet to rely on during the meeting.
Plan a Comprehensive Agenda
Employees, clients and executives expect a business meeting to flow smoothly. Plan for the meeting by creating an agenda or researching the topics that may be discussed. If you're unfamiliar with the discussion topic, investigate more by asking your boss questions so that you are prepared. Know the name of each individual who is expected to attend, and prepare handouts or materials needed to aid in any presentations you are planning to give. Make a list of priorities and key points your boss wants you to discuss so you can report back to him following the company or client meeting.
Know Meeting Etiquette
Even if this is the first time you're attending or leading a business meeting, it is important for you to maintain a professional stance and keep your composure together. Meeting etiquette includes starting the discussion on time, providing supplemental materials or multimedia components to help participants better understand the topics being discussed, and allowing each attendee time to voice his thoughts and opinions. Keep the meeting moving by establishing guidelines for etiquette before the meeting starts so all attendees are in sync with the flow of the session.
Show Your Confidence
While it is common to feel a wave of panic or nervousness when assuming the role of your boss at a business meeting, arm yourself with tools to maintain your composure. Take a deep breath before launching a discussion, and allow for pauses when speaking to regulate your tone and the speed of your speech. Stay professional while also encouraging a welcoming environment. Effective leaders also offer a balance of praise and constructive criticism when addressing issues plaguing the company's productivity or profitability.
Show that you are confident in your abilities and skills when representing your boss at a business meeting by dressing the part, as well. Pay close attention to your body language so that attendees feel comfortable offering input and ideas to strengthen the discussion throughout the meeting.
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