What NOT To Do During A Meeting

african american woman discussing during a meeting

Staff meetings are an essential aspect of running a successful business, from creating relationships to communicating what each department is working on. Additionally, team meetings are frequently the sole occasion where employees from other departments are able to interact. This is particularly true in remote settings where coworkers are divided into work-from-home and on-site setups.


During meetings, the participants tend to float away when the topics get too technical or they just simply forget small details that can affect the host and other attendees. To ensure the effectiveness of the meeting, here are 5 things you should not do:


What not to do

Business executives discussing over flip chart during meeting in office

Show up late

Start the meeting on time and without delay; do not hold off until everyone has arrived. Leaders who hold meetings until more attendees arrive waste a lot of valuable professional time. It may take a cultural shift, but once people know that you start meetings on time, they will arrive on time.

Be unprepared

Aside from arriving 10-15 minutes early, it would be best if you will read the provided agenda or materials in advance. Consider any comments or questions you might have regarding the topics being covered.

Business meeting in conference room

Excessive use of phone

Having your phone beside you during a meeting is fine, as long as it’s silenced or better yet, turned off. A phone that constantly vibrates or lights up when a notification pops up can interrupt the speaker and distract the attendees. Furthermore, under no circumstances should you answer a phone while in a meeting to ensure that everybody is in the zone, whether it’s a call or a text message.

Showing signs of disinterest, boredom, tiredness

Even if you believe a certain meeting will be a waste of time, you must keep from displaying any signals of discontent, boredom, or tiredness throughout the meeting. Any of those behaviors will make you appear unprofessional, and you run the risk of offending the presenter. When you feel like you’re about to zone out, immediately sit properly and regain your composure so you can keep up with what the speaker is saying.


Good day. Young and cheerful coworkers smiling while having a meeting in the modern office. Business concept


Moving around or leaving

When you continually shift positions or move around during a meeting, you will distract your coworkers and may disrupt the presentation. Any excuse other than an emergency should never cause you to leave a meeting early. If you need to leave the room for a moment, leave your notebook or laptop behind as a promise to come back as soon as you can.




Meetings can undoubtedly be tedious but if you’ve decided to attend one, you’ll need to conduct yourself in a professional manner the entire time. Knowing what not to do at a meeting will help you avoid making mistakes and keep your focus on the agenda. It’s always better to be prepared rather than to look unprofessional. 


Put your best foot forward and demonstrate your respect for your fellow meeting participants by following these easy guidelines and remember to follow them at all costs. They will not only keep your meetings on schedule, but they will also assist you in keeping your cool.

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