3 Little Words That Can Kill Your Meeting and What to do About Them
May 22, 2013 by DeDe Mulligan

words

I don't think most meeting planners equate their words as power statements — but they are.

Because you often are the "go-to" person for attendees, sponsors, venues and exhibitors, it is important that the following words be banned and replaced with more positive statements in order to keep your meetings thriving and growing. 

Here are the words, what they mean to the recipient and the replacement statements that can work in your favor.

  1. "Never."  When you use the word never, it means final and there is no hope for change. It is an "all-or-nothing" phrase and should be taken out of your vocabulary for two reasons: First, the landscape of meetings and events is changing rapidly. Second, you might change your mind. Instead say the following when approached with a proposal or opportunity: 

    "I will look into it and get back to you." This opens you up to new possibilities and shows you are open to listening, compromise and creating good will. The important thing in this process is to keep the communication going and let them know where you are in the process. Even if the answer is no, you did your best and opened the door for change. 
     

  2. "Always". Using this word, shows rigidity and righteousness. You are saying to your sponsors, partners or exhibitors that you are right, they are wrong and you really don't care if things have changed for them or their business.  A better option would be:

    "What would you like to change? How can I help?" This shows understanding and the ability to learn. If your primary sponsor always paid $10,000 for your meeting and this year they can only afford $8,000, try to find out what has changed and how you can work with them. Don't discount their loyalty to your organization or meeting, it might be they are just having a very difficult financial year. 
     

  3. "But." This word shows a lack of integrity and insincerity. You negate whatever was said before. For example, an attendee comes to you and complains that the meeting room is too cold. Your response is, "I'm sorry that you are uncomfortable BUT the temperature is not something I can control." This simple little word does not lend itself to building trust or credibility. This is much better: 

    "I'm sorry. I will do everything in my power to fix it." Then fix it and follow up. Don't blame others for the problem — attendees don't want to hear it. They want to know that you understand what is bothering them and you are doing everything in your power to make things better. Communicating with them via mobile devices is one way to keep them up-to-date. 

Take the time to think about the impact of your words before you speak them to meeting participants. Find words that are conducive to creating trust. In the end, attendees and partners alike want to be heard and appreciated. Are you doing everything in your power to create this type of environment? 

AV Event Solutions, now part of the SmartSource Rentals family, has interactive technology tools rentals such as iPads, computer kiosks and wireless Audience Response Systems. Give them a call at 888.249.4903 to get your AV process started and be assured they do not have the three words above in their vocabulary! 

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