How to Impress People at Staff Meetings

by Alison Lake

Those tasked with leading a meeting in their workplace hope to make an excellent impression on their bosses and colleagues. When making a presentation or leading a discussion, you will want to appear informed and confident; not defensive. While your ongoing work and dedication will contribute to in the meeting, some preliminary measures can be taken to ensure you leave the best impression possible.

Content Preparation

The single most important way to impress people at a staff meeting is to appear knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Preparations should include reviewing content that will be covered in the meeting, reading literature and news that pertain to the industry or field and anticipating what may be covered in the meeting. Someone who is not leading the meeting should find a way to access the meeting agenda in order to be prepared.


Employees who will make a presentation during the meeting will have a bigger impact on the group if they are organized prior to the meeting, with notes, an outline and handouts if relevant. The preparation will be evident during the presentation, more than if the employee simply runs through the information "on the fly." The presenter should also be prepared for possible questions regarding the content, and prepare answers and resources for the group to review.

Leading the Meeting

The meeting leader has many opportunities to impress the staff by pre-planning. The leader can shape the agenda and direction of the meeting and should establish a specific outline of points to cover and in what order. Printouts of the agenda will help the group follow along and impress upon attendees that the leader has researched and planned in detail for the meeting. The leader should bring previous materials and notes in case it is necessary to refer back to them during the meeting and answer questions.


Effective meetings are interactive and invite give and take among colleagues. An exchange of ideas makes meetings more productive and spurs employees to work together to solve problems. Meeting leaders and participants can impress the staff with timely and intelligent questions, helpful suggestions and a diplomatic, collaborative and confident manner. Before a staff meeting, one can prepare by generating a list of questions and possible answers, or offering analysis to spur discussion. The more preparation, the better.

About the Author

Alison Lake has been a journalist and editor since 2001, working with numerous newspapers and magazines. She has served on the world news desk of the "Washington Post" and contributed to The Atlantic, Foreign Policy Online, Al Jazeera English and GlobalPost.

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