We've written a lot about team meetings. We've even declared a war against inefficient meetings and as an experiment tried teamwork without meetings ourselves.
To get your team on board with this revolution, we've been cooking up some helpful materials and free tools. Go check out our Team Meeting Toolbox. It's a great personal virtual meeting assistant, helping you before, after and during the meeting. From preparations til time tracking, we've got it covered.
But there's also a confession we need to make. These guiding materials lack in one aspect. They give no guidance what so ever on how to appear smart during these meetings.
Let's face it, the need to appear brilliant is in every persons' secret wish list. Thanks for Sarah Cooper and her blog The Cooper Review, we don't need to look far for answers:
[via The Cooper Review]
How to appear smart during team meetings?
Here's what Sarah Cooper suggest you to do:
1. Draw a Venn diagram. Easy as that. The minute you start drawing your second circle, people in the room already have an opinion how big the common share should be. With that in mind, your job is done.
2. Translate % into fractions. It's especially helpful during important board meetings where big numbers go flying around. Just translate the marketing manager's estimates into fractions and you've won the medal for being the biggest smart-ass in the room.
3. Encourage everyone to "take a step back". Discussion turning rather hot and you have no idea how to contribute? Shout out loud "Let's take a step back". This demonstrates your leadership skills and turns others green with envy for your courage.
4. Nod smartly and take notes. It's not even relevant whether you understand the topic, nodding and pretending to take notes is a perfect strategy to appear smart. This will win you at least an extra hour of appearing smart.
5. Repeat the last phrase very, very slowly. Monitor closely what the engineer is saying. Most probably, you'll have no idea what he is speaking about. Just repeat his last sentence as slow as you can. Boom. Other's we'll be amazed of your knowledge.
6. No matter what, ask "Will this scale?". In this intensely competitive landscape all actions need to bring results. Doubting whether any action will scale will win you 100 plus points in CEO's eyes.
7. Pace around the room. During an intense meeting, where most of the room is afraid to even breath, it takes some courage to stand up. So, pace around the meeting table and you'll be amazed how much respect you'll be receiving.
8. Ask the presenter to go back a slide. This tactic will immediately make others ask whether there's something you spotted that everyone else missed? Wow, you must be paying close attention and know the topic. Brilliant way to show how involved you are.
9. Step out for a phone call. As easy as that, crab your phone and show that you have even more pressing issues to deal with.
10. Make fun of yourself. Can't find a way out from a difficult question? Make everyone laugh, on your expense, and you've created a perfect diversion.
Now go to that meeting and bring your brilliance with you.