Tips From an Editor: Controlling a Meeting

We could talk all day about the stereotypical attitude of a writer or business owner, but as a writer or business owner, we’re sure you already knowScreen shot 2014-08-06 at 10.16.01 PM yourself. That being said, taking charge of a meeting could be tough. What meetings you ask; well good question anonymous citizen. These meetings could be with an editor, publisher, stakeholder, potential client, potential business partner, fellow writer, readers or even the president of the United States. Here are some tips:

  1. Have the best writing utensil in the place: We suggest the amazing Batman pen one of our editors has (pictured to the right) that also functions as a bat signal. That is the perfect way to show everyone in the room that you will be running that meeting.
  2. Be sure to speak up, but not just to speak: It is important that everyone in the room knows you are an expert on your subject (whether it is your book, business or yourself) but don’t speak up just to speak up. There is a fine line between being invisible and a jerk. Find a comfortable place in the middle, it’s a better fit for you.
  3. Go Prepared: Do your research before, bring the materials you’ll need, have questions ready if necessary. The ultimate thing here is do not act confused on the subject of the meeting. Know why you are there and why it is important.
  4. Dress appropriately (Can we suggest a cape?): OK, maybe ignore the cape, but dress the part. Make sure you are presentable. If you are meeting snazzy people from the big city, wear a suit, blazer or cummerbund. If the meeting involves people a little more down to earth, than by all means dress appropriately. However, t-shirts are never OK. If you can help it, stay away from certain blue jeans as well. If you’re meeting editors, rethink the cape. It will amuse us.
  5. Bow out Gracefully: This is a two-fold tip. One, if the meeting does not include you or does not need to happen, find a nice way to tell that person to leave you out of it. Suggest emailing or even a phone call. Make sure they know you don’t want to waste their time. Two, if one of the meeting folks is long-winded, find a way to cut it short. Stay in control of the meeting, if necessary, make sure they know the duration of the meeting up front. Graciously tell them thank you, but you must really leave. A cape may come in handy in this situation.

With these tips you will command the room and get the right attention from “insert meeting folks here.” Be sure to connect with us on on FacebookTwitter and Google+.

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