Archive for November, 2012


Office Meeting Etiquette

Office meetings are an inevitable part of the office routine, yet they are often considered time sucking rituals where little work actually gets done. A lack of etiquette and poor planning are two of the main reasons why many business meetings fail, said business expert Lyndsay Swinton.

The following are some tips for good business meeting etiquette to help make business meetings effective.

  1. The chairperson of the meeting should send out a meeting agenda to each participant at least one week in advance. The agenda should clearly state the meeting start and ending times.
  2. If you’re holding the presentation, make sure the handouts, slides, or other materials are ready at least three days prior to the meeting.
  3. As in a movie theater, silence cell phones. If you’re expecting an importantly call, put your phone on vibrate and excuse yourself from the meeting before answering it.
  4. Meetings should have a break every two hours. Breaks should be 20 minutes long, and meal breaks should be 30 minutes long, says the Houston Chronicle.
  5. Like in school, raise your hand for a question rather than blurting it out. Wait until the end of the meeting or another specified time to ask questions.
  6. If you are speaking, avoid nervous habits like tapping a pen on a table, fidgeting unnecessarily, tapping your feet, or other things that can distract from the presentation.
  7. Set a time limit for the meeting and abide by it.
  8. If a meeting goes off topic, remind the attendees about the agenda and bring it back to the suggestion at hand.
  9. If the meeting discusses problems, be sure to be prepared to offer some solutions.
  10. After the meeting, provide the meeting details to those who couldn’t attend. Also, follow up with the participants and give them a list of action items, resolutions and issues that remain open.

Celebrate Small Business Saturday!

This upcoming Saturday, November 24, 2012, is the second annual Small Business Saturday – a day created to celebrate the success of entrepreneurs across the nation and all that they do for the community. Originally conceived by American Express, the shopping holiday is sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and encourages consumers to buy from small, local brick and mortar businesses.

Here at Nextiva, we aid small businesses each day by providing them with affordable and reliable communications solutions for their employees. We encourage you to shop at the small businesses in your area this Saturday and support this nationwide effort. Here are some ways that you can participate:

  • Visit www.shopsmall.com to find the small businesses in your area and pay them a visit! Or promote your business there and make it easy for local consumers to find you.
  • Encourage others to participate in a shopping excursion with you. Grab some friends on Saturday morning and enjoy brunch at the locally owned and operated café on your corner before exploring small businesses in your area for a day of shopping.
  • Share your discoveries! Find a beautiful painting at an art gallery or a unique chair at an antique shop? Show it off by Tweeting a picture of it with the hash tag #SmallBizSat or share it with your friends via Facebook. The small business will appreciate the exposure and you get to show off your great taste.
  • Do you run your own small business? Rally your customers and create a stir of excitement with emails, social posts and special promotions for the day. American Express even offers free marketing resources to help you drive traffic.

Small businesses provide many of the things we need and help keep our communities strong. We hope you’ll show your support for Small Business Saturday!


Will Dressing for Success Help You at Work?

Dressing for success isn’t just a popular catch-phrase, its advice workers would be wise to follow (unless they work from home). A CareerBuilder.com survey found that 41 percent of employers said that people who dress better or more professionally tend to be promoted more often than others in their organization.

As Mark Twain noted: “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.”

It’s Not Only What you Wear

Polished shoes, pressed shirts and well-fitted pants always look good and convey that you are a person who is professional and pays attention to details. When your clothes look sloppy and not well put together, so do you.

Be Traditional if in Doubt

Whether you’re in Silicon Valley where jeans and sandals are common or New York’s financial industry’s suit culture, you will never go wrong dressing conservative. “The most basic mistake new employees make is underdressing,” says Randall Hansen, a professor of business at Stetson University. “If unsure, dress conservatively. The best way to avoid a problem is to understand the corporate culture.” Also, if you’re unsure, dress up rather than down.

Look the Part

If you have a client meeting, presentation, or meeting with the CEO, dress the part. Wear your best-looking clothes for these types of meetings.

Pets = lint brush/roller

Pet owners should have a lint brush handy for before and during work to remove that unwanted and sometimes unnoticed pet hair clinging to clothes.

Dress like your boss (some days)

The old saying goes: “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” While being unique and different from the rest of the herd has its place, one way to impress the boss is to show up looking similar to him. However, it’s still important to maintain some sense of uniqueness in your dress.


Tips for the Killer Presentation

Presentations can be ruthlessly boring and over-laden with too much information, which can negate the intended informative effects. Yet with the right eye-catching formatting and layout techniques, you can turn your presentation into one that will really “Wow!” them:

Embrace the 10-20-30 Rule

Venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki states that a PowerPoint slide should have no more than 10 slides, last no longer than 20 minutes and have no text less than 30-point font. Regardless if your idea will change the world, is the importance of revealing important concisely and quickly.

Be Entertaining

Your presentation should not only be informative, but also entertaining so that you retain the attention of your audience. Try peppering a presentation with short stories, quips and anecdotes to be more entertaining and enlivening. If you can make your audience laugh, you help to keep the audience alert, lively and more apt to learn more from the presenter, Kawasaki recommends.

Slow Down

Nervous and inexperienced speakers often talk very fast, which can lose some of the presentation’s listeners. Consciously slow your speech down and add pauses for emphasis.

Don’t Over Prepare

You need to rehearse your presentation, but not too much says QuickSprout. Otherwise it will sound less spontaneous, memorized and boring.

Differentiate Yourself

If you don’t do something unique compared to all the other presenters the audience has heard, they won’t remember you. You are branding yourself when you speak, so make sure you do something unique and memorable.




 
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