Just like when you were at school, choosing a wrong seat at work can put you in an unfavourable position. In the workplace, sitting in the wrong place could hinder negotiations and even mar your professional image. You can say that spaces in business is a key in doing good deals, networking, and climbing ladder to success.
In professional settings, however, there might be some confusion on where to sit in order to achieve goals of meetings. For example, if you sit too close with potential business partners, you can be considered as a defiant and ambitious individual who does not understand the idea of ‘personal space.’ Meanwhile, when you sit too far from them, people might think you are unfriendly and unwilling to collaborate.
What should you do, then? Of course, you should sit ‘just right’ and people will see you are worth their trust, time, and investment. In other words, sitting in the right position can give you a good feeling about how you interact with colleagues, potential employers, or other attendees.
So, to look professional and to get full attention, here are some tips from Seats and Stools on how you should place yourself in the crowd.
When doing interview
On one on one interview
You have dressed nicely and studied all the company’s background to look professional and to make employer falls in love with you. While the recruiter might have recognised and expected your coming, you still need to introduce yourself. After that, it is time to find a seat where you can confidently talk to your recruiter. There might be several seats available in the room, but you should sit at the opposite of the interviewer. You should also wait to be asked to sit. Your body should be sit up straight, and adjust your chair to be at eye level with the interviewer.
On group interview
Different from 1-to-1 interview, when meeting several employers, you can sit across from the group of interviewers. First you should introduce yourself with your full name to everyone on the panel because they might have no idea which one they interview. You should also make eye contact with the group, flash off genuine smiles, and show enthusiasm.
When doing brainstorming session
Being a professional in brainstorming session does not mean you should invite an expert. By not inviting executives or managers, you can cook the best original ideas to impress your boss. It also helps everyone contribute their best acts.
Therefore, you should keep your group small for more spontaneous and separate strong personalities by distance for the most collaborative environment. As good as possible, when doing an informal discussion, try to avoid sitting on the table.
When doing presentation
Engaging everyone in a discussion can be a challenging task. To help you deal with that, you should arrange seats in form of theatre style (semicircle). There will be rows facing speaker in semi-circular pattern or herringbone pattern for maximum view.
If you are a single presenter, you should be in front (on the stage) to get fewer distraction and more audience attention.
If you are presenting with a partner, both of you should sit on stage until it is your turn to speak.
If you are a co-presenter, you can stand or sit at the side of stage or room for minimising disrupt flow.
If you are one of panel speaker presentation, you should sit on stage at a conference table, and moderator will be at the end of table and to the side.
If you are an attendee, choose a seat in the front centre and you will get the best view from both, presenter and presentation.
Likewise, whichever you are, you should rehearse your lines or presentation before the acts to ensure a smooth transition.
Sales meeting presentation can be done in small tables in ‘banquet style’. It will help foster communication and keep attention of attendees.
When doing business lunch
It will be better to reserve a table or a meeting room. However, if you want a different view, you can choose 4-top table in a quiet area of a restaurant with minimal noise and distraction. You should seat next to one another on the corner of the table rather than across. It will allow you to get more intimate conversation. When your client arrives, subtly direct him or her to the chair next to you by gesturing.
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