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7 ways to communicate effectively in meetings

Business meetings are an integral part of working life. They are used to develop ideas, exchange concerns, present information and make decisions. But meetings also tend to have a reputation for going off track, dragging on unnecessarily or boring attendees to distraction.

Knowing how to communicate well in meetings – especially if you are chairing the meeting – is vital for making them efficient and productive. Here are 7 ways to use your communication skills effectively in your next meeting.

1. Be on time

Nothing says that a meeting is not important more than turning up late to it. Not sticking to the allocated time schedule in a meeting also shows a lack of respect for other people's time.

Be aware of the message that you are sending.

2. Stay on topic

An agenda should be driven by action and sent to attendees in advance. If an item comes up for discussion that is not on the agenda make a note to discuss it during General Business or schedule it in for another time.

3. Voice of success

The energy in your voice can give clues to the message that you are sending.

  • Are you delivering your point with confidence?
  • Does your message sound positive or negative?
  • How can you use your voice inflections to emphasise your point?
  • What feeling is your tone of voice reflecting?

4. Word choice

Your choice of words and language in a meeting can sometimes persuade opinions to go in your favour or do the reverse. Be mindful when choosing your words and avoid language that makes assumptions or discriminates.

5. Watch your body language

Body language is just as important as verbal communication. It provides clues to your attitude and state of mind – be conscious of the message that you're sending with your body language.

  • Are you slouching in your chair?
  • Are you using eye contact to include everyone?
  • Are your arms crossed defensively?

6. Listen

When you are not speaking make sure that you are practising good listening skills. Communication is a two-way process. Actively listening to your colleagues can help you to better understand and communicate with them.

7. Avoid distractions

Following the agenda and staying within the timeframe of each action point will help you to stay focused. Have water at hand to remain hydrated and put your phone away to avoid external distractions.

Good meetings require good participants and good leaders. All attendees should be prepared and ready to communicate effectively in order to make the meeting as productive and constructive as possible.

What are your tips for communicating effectively in meetings?


Maria Pantalone

Maria Pantalone works with individuals and teams to make communication their strength so that their message is heard. Her programs help her clients to excel in their role and be recognised as leaders in their field.
30 Business Communication Tips

Looking for tips to help you with your speaking, writing and interpersonal communication?

Then download my free ebook, 30 Business Communication Tips.

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  1. Hannah Wilde

    Hi Maria,
    I would like to learn more about effective communication in meetings. I am a school teacher and am looking to advance to consulting with other teachers, providing teacher leadership, etc.

    • Maria Pantalone

      Hi Hannah

      Thanks for your message. I'd be happy to assist you in any way possible. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss possible options.

      All the best

  2. rosetta nyathi

    Thanks a lot for the information, I am preparing for my business communication examination on the 21st of May 2019

    • Maria Pantalone

      Thanks for your message. All the best for your exam.


    Thank you for the information, I am preparing for my in class presentation. This was helpful

    • Maria Pantalone

      You're welcome. All the best for your presentation.

  4. Saptami

    Thank you. This is very helpful I needed this summarized information for my presentation on the same topic.

    • Maria Pantalone

      You're welcome! I hope your presentation goes well.


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