How Do You Show Up In The Room?

In various trainings, I am often asked about business meetings: Where to sit, how to sit, when to arrive, when to speak, etc. I, of course, have opinions on all of it and am happy to share them with you…

Where to sit: In the middle. That way you are visible when people talk across the table. It is also easier to break into the conversation.

How to sit: Powerfully. Note that I did not say comfortably. Keep your back a few inches away from the back of the chair. That will keep your energy in your body, enable movement, gesturing, and impact when you speak. When listening, you can get a little more comfortable. Keep in mind that you can have a power seated stance as well as a standing one.

When to arrive: Early. First, you can choose your ideal seat. Even more importantly, you can get your ducks in a row.

I always say, The meeting happens before the meeting and after the meeting, but rarely during the meeting.”

If you are trying to get people on-board for an idea, chat with them one-on-one, and get their buy-in ahead of time. When you arrive early, you can reconfirm their position right before the meeting starts.

When to speak: Soon. Speaking in the first 5–15 minutes makes your presence known and makes it easier for you to interject the next time. You have established that you are in the conversation. Don’t worry, you don’t have to speak brilliance. It could be as benign as, “Could you repeat that?” or, “Pass the water.” It wakes up your voice and their ears.

With all these tips, use a filter of the culture of the organization. If it is not appropriate to take a middle seat, don’t. Perhaps the best way to show up is with attentiveness — and to follow up!

--

--

--

Forbes Top 25 Networking Expert. Ex-finance exec., CSP, CEO, Speaker and Author of 4 books including, The 11 Laws of Likability and The Connectors Advantage.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Leading tech and software companies like Mailchimp NEED to do better navigating social injustice.

How to choose your mentors wisely!

How to Love the Job You Found, and Find a Job You Love

Why Corporate Culture and the Cubicle Farm Doesn’t Work For Me Anymore

Work Futures Weekly | For The Greatest Good Of Everyone

Mistakes

Huge Global CEO Pete Stein on Leadership

How to Tweak Your Mind into Coming Up With Innovative Ideas

Bubble, transparent, floating, fragile

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Michelle Tillis Lederman

Michelle Tillis Lederman

Forbes Top 25 Networking Expert. Ex-finance exec., CSP, CEO, Speaker and Author of 4 books including, The 11 Laws of Likability and The Connectors Advantage.

More from Medium

MY ALL TOO FAMILIAR FRIEND AND FOE

What To Do When You’re Bored

Living To Avoid Remorse

Wellspring Wednesdays|Week 11: Know Better, Do Better