ABSTRACT

A group consists of between four and fifteen people, and influencing it is similar to influencing an individual, but with three important differences. First, you will have competition, other people will want to talk, and they will have opinions of their own. Second, you will receive both the support and the opposition of others. Third, the group dynamic will be an added factor. A group can develop a mood and momentum of its own, and this can act to your advantage. Influencing a group at a meeting provides you with valuable opportunities. You have the chance to increase your visibility in the organization, to sell yourself and your ideas, and to extend and develop your network, both inside and outside the organization. Since others consider meetings to be a waste of their time, your attempts to come over as forceful and effective, will be relatively unfettered. An impressive performance will get you noticed, and help you to get on. Every meeting attended by you and a senior manager is both a prospective job interview and a current job evaluation. Meetings are also a good place to prepare for public speaking. Many of the skills learned are transferable. Meetings, however, involve a greater element of two-way exchange than a public presentation, so anticipating and answering questions will be important, as will using your listening skills. You will prepare your opening and closing remarks carefully, rehearsing them beforehand, and taking advantage of your smaller audience’s needs and interests by personalizing your presentation (Glaser and Smalley, 1992).