SURVIVE A CONFERENCE-ROOM AMBUSH

Caught unprepared for your next ideas meeting? You needn't resort to surreptitiously Googling under the table. Two-thirds of meeting lack a pre-planned agenda. Making preparation, is a waste of your time. Ollie Ollerton a former special forces soldier and the founder of Break-Point-AUK-Based Mind-Body Peak Performance Training Organization has this advice:

Dominate the field
It's vital that you open the meeting not them. This is your chance to set the agenda. As an icebreaker, bring up a recent controversial news story. While debate ensues, it'll but you more time to think.

Engage on your terms
Within the first five minutes, suggest a date for a follow-up meeting to finalize any decisions. This reframes today's talk as a more "exploratory" and reduces the odds that you'll have to make any real commitments.

Initiate interrogation
Finally, always invite an irrelevant staff member so you can ask question on their behalf. "Could you run through Project X, just so Mike's clued in?" You'll soon be fully briefed, without giving the game away.

Instant impact
"Step out of a meeting occasionally for an important phone call," says Sarah Cooper, author of 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings. "Everyone will see you as busy and in demand."

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