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7 Top Tips for Commanding a Boardroom Meeting

  • By Judith Bowman
  • |
  • October 23, 2018

Boardroom skills are as important as the skills you bring to the table for your business. From the moment you walk into the room, be aware of all your mannerisms as they will directly influence the outcome of the meeting.

boardroom meeting tips

Ready to take your boardroom skills to the next level?

Embrace the 7 Top Tips for Commanding a Boardroom Meeting

1. Exchange business cards before the meeting so you can use them and use participants’ names, keeping you in control – always the goal. Place others’ cards subtly, yet strategically around your portfolio so you can address individuals by name, as you comment, question, etc. Using names is powerful.

2. The host sits at the “head of the table.” The “head of the table” is entirely contingent upon where the door to the room is located. Remember: nearly everyone watches the entrance of the room. Know this, and use it to your advantage. If you, as host, were to sit with your back to the door, whenever anyone entered, you would have to turn – away from your table (to view entrant), thereby losing ‘control’ and, awareness of your room.

3. The host is always seated first. Ideally, participants will gather around the table, wait for host to arrive, shake hands, exchange business cards and greetings, and let the host be seated, first. Think: a courtroom and, the judge. The judge enters, all rise, the rest of the courtroom is seated.

4. Hands: belong on the boardroom table, not on your lap. This is much more authoritative and, shows you are not “under handed” or, going to draw a sword or weapon!

5. Sit: focused forward; picture an invisible “V” between you and the back of the chair. Refrain from slumping, touching your face, hair, etc.

6. Eye contact: make eye-contact with those at the furthest end of the room; complete the thought. Wait an extra 2 to 3 seconds as you gaze at each, helping them feel as though you are truly regarding THEM and, move on. Continue until you have made eye contact with everyone, thereby “owning” your room.

7. Use a quality pen — leave your basic Bic back at the office!


When Advisors understand and embrace these tips, they put their best foot forward with powerful body language and enjoy more positive outcomes from meetings with colleagues or clients.

If you want more tips on how your practice can always be put in the best light, contact us for a complimentary assessment!

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Author Bio

Judith Bowman founded Protocol Consultants International in 1993 and has prospered to become an established Business Protocol expert, educator, corporate speaker, and renowned authority in the field of Professional Presence, Dining Savvy, International Protocol Awareness, and personal and professional development. Ms. Bowman also provides Protocol Certification. She is a graduate of Boston College and has pursued studies in Effective Business Communication at Harvard University. Ms. Bowman speaks to critical interpersonal communication skills and shares specific nuances advantageous to exemplary conduct in today’s fast-paced and highly competitive global work environment. She showcases everyday business situations and shows professionals how to leverage these as opportunities to demonstrate respect while earning respect - while showing you know “the difference” while making a difference to stand apart and outclass the competition! Ms. Bowman has authored two business protocol books: “Don’t Take the Last Donut…” (Career Press) presently sold in 16 countries, translated in 14 languages, and her new book, “How to Stand Apart @ Work …” She has authored a weekly Everyday Etiquette column syndicated throughout New England for ten years by the Pulitzer Prize winning Eagle Tribune Publishing Company. Internationally, she authored a Business Protocol column for the prestigious Noblesse Magazine, China. She presently writes a weekly Business Protocol column for Boston Herald newspapers and has a coordinating weekly radio segment, “A Protocol Moment” on Herald Radio. She also writes a monthly Fabulous Woman series which features truly fabulous women who have shattered the glass ceiling and has been featured in Leader to Leader, March, 2015. Bowman has produced a series of support products which include: Executive Etiquette/First Impressions DVD, DINING 101 DVD and Protocol Training DVD – from her on-line How to Stand Apart series.