Personal branding is about authentically delivering value to the people you seek to influence, inspire and impact. One of the best places to do that is in meetings. In fact, meetings (both in-person and virtual) are among the most powerful ways to build your brand and advance your career, when you actively engage in them. That’s because:
The people you seek to impact and influence are there
Many of the people you need to impress so you can keep you career moving upward are right there, face to face or on Zoom. It’s the place to showcase your work and talk about the unique contributions you make to your team or a project.
Meetings take you out of your solo world
Delivering value that’s invisible will not catapult your to career new heights. Everyone’s busy. You can’t expect your boss and other influential people to be actively figuring out what you’re doing every day. Meetings bring your value out of the shadows.
You learn what’s going on
Meetings are learning opportunities. They often provide context, important details and sometimes valuable insights—all of which can be helpful to your success and make your contributions more impactful. You also learn things that have nothing to do with the project at hand—like who the boss chose for the new team member—but are important for you to know.
You build connection and relationships with your peers
It’s hard to build a relationship via email, texting or Slack. Meetings let you connect more deeply and bolster relationships with key stakeholders. Relationships are built through multiple consistent touchpoints. Meetings are among the most meaningful touchpoints.
Meetings let you showcase your expertise
That doesn’t mean bragging. It means demonstrating what makes you exceptional. Meetings let you make your mark and reinforce your brand differentiation. By actively participating (not multitasking) and sharing your ideas and opinions, you show your knowledge and point-of-view.
You demonstrate your communication skills
Meetings provide the forum for articulating your ideas clearly and concisely (and in a branded way—with humor or structure or data). Solid communication skills make you look confident. And by actively listening and participating (no checking your email!), you show respect for your colleagues and let people know you are interested.
Meetings provide a forum for acknowledging others publicly
Everyone wants to be recognized for their contributions. Acknowledging others and expressing gratitude is fuel to those around you. And when you do this in meetings, in front of a group, it’s more like rocket fuel.
You can get feedback
Feedback is essential if you want to learn and advance your career. Meetings provide a forum for others to provide candid actionable input you can use to refine what you do and how you do it.
You demonstrate that you are a leader
Meetings are places where decision makers identify emerging leaders—those who demonstrate leadership skills without holding the title. When you take an active role in meetings, you demonstrate your leadership and collaboration skills and get on the radar of those who have the power to promote you.
You enhance your credibility and likability
By actively participating in meetings and providing valuable input and unique insights, you build your credibility as an expert in your field. The way your deliver your input and interact with other meeting participants can make you likable. Strong personal brands sit at the intersection of likability and credibility.
Make meetings matter. Be deliberate in the way you participate in meetings so you can stand out, grow your brand and advance your career.
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I’m a personal branding pioneer, motivational speaker, founder of Reach Personal Branding and cofounder of CareerBlast.TV. I’m also the bestselling author of the definitive books on executive branding: Digital YOU, Ditch.Dare. Do! and Career Distinction. I’m passionate about how personal branding can inspire career-minded professionals to become indispensable, influential and incredibly happy at work—and I teach my clients (major global brands and 20% of the Fortune 100) to increase their success by infusing personal branding into their cultures. Here’s a fun fact: I have the distinct privilege of having delivered more personal branding keynotes to more people, in more countries, than anyone on earth.