Home > Uncategorized > New Service – Meeting Survival

New Service – Meeting Survival

Two weeks of business travel meant more full-day meetings than this work-from-home-mom is used to.  I swear it takes a special sort of endurance to sit through a day long meeting, regardless of how engaging the topic is.  To show my appreciation to all of you for coming back to read after my extended absence, I am now offering the following meeting survival services free of charge (and free of any proven effectiveness):

  • Meetings Do’s and Dont’s
  • Emergency Interventions
  • Meeting Absence Excuses

Below is a sampling of each product:

Meetings Do’s and Dont’s

  • Do not attempt to carbo-load through the meeting.  There will not be a chance to burn it off and instead you will find yourself in a coma at 2:30 right when the vice president asks your thoughts on a topic you have confused for a Duncan Hines commercial.
  • Do get up and stand in the back of the room, during a particular tedious section, while maintaining eye contact with the speaker.  This will reduce the tingling in your backside, make you look more alert than the guy sitting next to you with his eyes half closed and likely keep you from being called on.  But don’t stand too close to others in the back of the room, they might be back there because of their gas-inducing boxed lunch.
  • Do drink lots of water.  Yeah, it will keep you hydrated, but it also give you the excuse to use the bathroom frequently, at which point you can check Facebook or text a co-worker to stage a fake crisis to get you out of the meeting.  Keep the crisis global, but vague.  “Sorry, I have to slip out the India thing is going sideways.”

Emergency Interventions

If you can’t make up an India Crisis (or some other work calamity) and escape is not an option, let me help you with a diversion.  Send me a text when your boredom or chances of nodding off are dangerously high.  I will lead you through a serious of “activities” to keep you “alert”.  I cannot be responsible for you laughing out loud in a quiet conference room.  Activities include:

  • Identify the two worst hair-dos in the room.
  • Categorize people by corporate cheerleader, just-here-for-the-paycheck, genuinely interested and looking for new jobs.
  • Make up stories about what people are really writing in their notebooks.

Meeting Absence Excuses

If you’re one of those proactive types, it is best to come up with an excuse for not attending the meeting, such as:

  • You’re having trouble with your eyes (you can’t see yourself sitting through that meeting)
  • You’ve been approached on Twitter to do an interview with US News on your industry.  It makes you sound hip, authoritative and important.
  • Go with the good ol’ (and vague), “Gosh, wish I could make it, I am triple booked that day.  Send me the slides, I am interested in the content.”
  • You’re spending the day volunteering in your community.  Let the meeting owner know you will be wearing your corporate t-shirt while you’re there. Volunteering always sounds like more fun than a meeting to me.

The choice is up to you – get out of the meeting, survive the meeting or turn it into extreme people watching.  Whatever you choose, operators are standing by…

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. May 5, 2011 at 6:47 am

    Where have you been all my life? I have to go to full day meetings about 4 times a year and they KILL me- especially since they in no way pertain to my job!

  2. May 5, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Good lessons, all. I make a point of taking notes on my iPhone early on, so that, if I happen to be in the middle of a txt conversation later, it can appear that I’m actually paying attention and/or doing something productive (and, since I can’t read my handwriting, this is actually a better way to take notes).

    But, yeah, full-day meetings are for the dogs. I swear, when they’re scheduled for me. And, how do you explain the hunger thing . . . normally, lunch time comes & I’m moderately hungry, but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t eat right then (even if my lunch is sitting at the desk). But, during an all-day meeting, if I see that lunch has been delivered, I can’t think of anything but eating.

  3. May 5, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I’m with John on the lunch delivery. Nothing gives me an attack of the munchies like sitting in a chair all day long. I also slam caffeine much more when stuck in a chair all day.

    Thank you for reminding me of the “joys” I miss as a stay at home parent.

  4. May 5, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Oh, perfect. Because the India thing is always going sideways.

    This is brilliant.

    And I would hang with you in the back even AFTER the gas-inducing boxed lunches.


  5. May 7, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Wish I knew you when I was attending some of the meetings! There were many times that I would have paid for your interventions! Glad you are back! 🙂

  6. May 8, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Awesome. And many of these could also be applied to PTA meetings for the SAHM 🙂

    I wanted to let you know that I’ve undergone a bit of a transformation and the transfer to a self-hosted server means I’ve lost all of my subscribers. The good news is, it’s very easy to re-subscribe: simply go to http://www.loridyan.com and you’ll see the subscription box on the right-hand side. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience and thanks so much for your understanding.

  7. May 10, 2011 at 6:27 am

    I’m beyond terrible at meetings and this handy dandy guide will assist me in the future I’m sure.

    I needed more strategies in my arsenal to get me through my meeting ADHD.

    Keep them coming 🙂

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