Whether you work for a public relations agency or a tech startup, meetings are sure to appear on your weekly calendar. True, they can sometimes feel unnecessary and tiresome, but they are important and required for progress. They can also be a valuable opportunity to network and work on interpersonal relationships.

Today’s workplace is fast-paced and competitive. Improper meeting etiquette can tarnish your reputation and even hurt business relationships. Have you recently been in a meeting with someone having side conversations? Or how about interrupting and talking over people? It can be distracting and a waste of everyone’s valuable time.

When you have a meeting to attend with clients, prospective customers or coworkers, use it as an opportunity to make a great impression. It may be “the icing on the cake” that secures you that new piece of business or even a promotion.

Here are five meeting etiquette rules that will help you leave a good impression:

1.  Be punctual. Make sure you are about 10 minutes early but not a minute late.

2.  Come prepared. During the meeting is not the time to prepare for your part or review the materials.

3.  Keep your cell phone off the table. Smartphones and tablets are necessary to do our jobs, but looking at your phone during a meeting comes across as disinterested or not attentive.

4.  Be professional. Don’t carry on side conversations or engage in other distracting behavior. This includes everything from dressing appropriately to sitting up straight.

5.  Don’t interrupt. It’s impolite to interrupt or talk over your client or coworker. There are exceptions to this rule — someone rattling on about an unrelated topic — so use your common sense.

What meeting etiquette rules would you add to our list? Comment here or share via Twitter @ecpraustin.

-Lisa Candido
Senior Account Executive, Elizabeth Christian Public Relations

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