As a professional, you’re going to find yourself in many types of meetings. You’ll brainstorm ideas, make pitches to clients and investors, and report on analytics to your superiors. But no matter the purpose of the meeting, if you’re new to the scene or the stakes are high, it’s vital that you make a strong, positive, and memorable impression.
The Benefits of Memorability
Why is being memorable important?
- You’ll stand out. If you’re competing with other people—like in a job interview—being memorable helps you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
- You’ll drive action. If people remember you, they’ll remember your main points, and will be more likely to follow through with your intended actions.
- You’ll encourage future contact. If decision-makers remember you from a previous meeting, they’ll be more likely to include you in important discussions in the future—which is especially important if you’re trying to sell them your products and services.
How to Become More Memorable
So what steps can you take to make yourself more memorable?
- Be honest. This may seem like an obvious tip, but it’s one not many people end up following: share your honest thoughts and opinions in the meeting. Too often, meeting attendees will follow the established narrative and agree to everything everyone else is saying; this behavior seems like it would win you favor, since you aren’t confronting anyone, but it often ends up being heard as white noise. Instead, stand up for what you think and believe in—even if it ends up being slightly controversial. After all, controversy is both visible and memorable.
- Provide new insights. Aim to share something new in every meeting you attend, and make your voice heard. Don’t rattle off the main points you shared on the meeting agenda, and don’t repeat things you’ve said in meetings past. Instead, bring a new data point or a fresh perspective so people can remember you for something new.
- Bring a tangible takeaway. It also helps if you bring a physical, tangible takeaway to share with your other meeting attendees. At the start of the meeting, passing it out gives you the chance to have a one-on-one interaction with everyone in the room, and after the meeting, they’ll have something to remember you by. Business cards are traditional, but if you really want to stand out, get some flyers printed.
- Give compliments to other attendees. Compliments are always memorable because they flatter the person receiving them. They’re even more effective if they’re specific. Try to pay a compliment to the principal meeting attendees, if you can, whether that’s a comment about their shoes, or regards about the quality of their presentation. Just try not to lay it on too thick, or you’ll come off as a sycophant.
- Use names when addressing people. Using someone’s name, specifically, when addressing them, can instantly make you more captivating. It’s mildly and subtly flattering to the person you’re speaking with, and it demonstrates that you’re paying attention to the individuals in your group. Try addressing the other meeting participants directly by name, and they’ll walk away holding you in far higher regard.
- Dress appropriately, but uniquely. This is a professional environment, so obviously, you’ll need to conform to a professional dress code, but try to add something unique in your wardrobe. It could be an accessory, such as a piece of jewelry, or a splash of color on a tie. It shouldn’t be so much that it’s distracting, but it should set you apart from everyone else.
- Send a follow-up. After the meeting is your best chance to “lock in” people’s memory of you; this is your chance to send a follow-up. Depending on the nature of the meeting, this might be a list of to-do items, a recap, or a thank you message. In any case, it gives you the opportunity to express your thoughts on the meeting and stay top-of-mind for the principal participants. Spend some time wording that email effectively.
Though these techniques can help you stand out and become more memorable, there’s a fine line between noticeable and annoying. If you go too far with any of these tactics, you might end up memorable—but not in the way you want to be. Keep your habits in moderation, and you’ll end up right where you want to be.