While we may not be giving presentations in the conference room like we used to, there are still some essential things to keep in mind the next time you have a meeting over Zoom.
Whether you’re presenting new ideas to your team at work or pitching the next big project to the CEO of your company, it’s key to present yourself to the best of your ability. It’s one thing to dress for success, but what about how you’re speaking?
You may be used to wearing pajama bottoms with dress shirts for video conferences, but don’t let the laid back atmosphere of work-from-home infiltrate how you communicate during meetings.
If you had to take a communications course in college, then some of these hints and tips might make you feel like you’re back in that 8 AM required class. Communicating effectively is a core tenant in leadership, so you’ll want to hone in on those skills constantly.
The next time you sit down for a big meeting, consider using these five power words. While they may not reinvent your public speaking persona, they will certainly help you feel more comfortable about how you lead and present.
5 power words to use in your next meeting:
Let’s — Anytime you can use a word that speaks to working together, you’re going to catch everyone’s attention in the meeting. Use “we,” “let’s,” and “our” to create a sense of togetherness that will have everyone feeling included in the process. You want to ensure that everyone at the meeting feels part of something bigger than themselves.
Yeah — You may have been told, once upon a time, that “yeah” was too casual to use in a business setting, but a study out of MIT would suggest otherwise. The study inferred that using “yeah” allowed the speaker to shift the framing of a hypothesis by making it appear to agree with the previous statement.
Meeting — Believe it or not, using the word “meeting” can be useful during a meeting. If you come to an impasse with someone during the meeting, all you have to say is, “Let’s talk about this at the next meeting.” It’s an easy way to move the current meeting along and keep an open and positive tone. This is also a great word to use to set solid goals to reach before the next meeting.
Start — Use “start” as a way to spark initiative in your team members. “Let’s start on that next” or “When we start on the project” are two forward-thinking ways to discuss business. This is also a word that indicates productivity, which is sure to inspire everyone’s positive feelings during the meeting. Starting is better than ending, after all.
Move On — This is another one that helps you keep the conversation moving. There are a couple of different ways to use this one: “Let’s move on” and “Moving on” are going to be your two go-to’s. This also creates a sense of finality about the previous topic, which may be useful if there was any contention about the last topic. You’re moving on and not revisiting it because you have control of the conversation.
These five simple terms may already be in your meeting repertoire, but it’s always good to be reminded of little ways to improve your public speaking skills. The key to any good meeting is ensuring that your message is understood with clear and concise communication.
The next time you’re sitting in a meeting (and not leading it), listen to the kind of words used.
Do you see how they propel the conversation? Is the speaker using phrases that create a “team” environment, even if they not-so-subtly disagree with other participants?
The best public speakers know how to effectively communicate approval and disapproval to keep the conversation focused and positive.
Try utilizing these words during your next meeting and see if it improves your own leadership skills. Power words can be powerful.