We are a meeting society—a world made up of small groups that come together to share information, plan, and solve problems.
—Michael Doyle and David Straus
People I train always ask me, "How can I practice my public speaking more, if I only give a speech every six months?" Like any skill, public speaking needs to be practiced often. The answer lies in meetings. Studies have shown that up to 80 percent of executives' time is spent in meetings. Yet many people ignore the chance that meetings present to hone their speaking skills and strengthen their reputations as powerful and persuasive speakers. Even small meetings provide important forums to the speaker who knows how to run one properly, because each meeting is an opportunity to give a speech—however brief.
Because most meetings in companies aren't well run, meetings have developed a bad reputation as time wasters. This poor impression just makes for more of an opportunity for you; if you can do a good job running meetings, you really stand out.