It was F. Scott FitzGerald that said that 'no brilliant idea was born in a conference room'. I'm not entirely convinced the great novelist actually attended that many business meetings, but the line still works well.
Meetings are a necessary evil of corporate life. Many attempts have been made to speed them up and remove them entirely, but for most they are to be endured.
Like meetings, business books also tend to leave me cold. But this one, from ex-Googler Sarah Cooper, called 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, is genius.
The book is full of tricks to appear smart and in charge in meetings whilst actually doing very little.
My favourite tip? Pip in at the right moment and say "We have cake, but the cake needs sprinkles. What are the sprinkles?"
Utterly meaningless, but people will (might) respect your genius.
Am I brave enough to try these?
In a brainstorming meeting, the pressure of coming up with incredible new ideas can be debilitating. Luckily, the last thing most corporations want is new ideas. During these largely pointless exercises, the point is to contribute using the mere gravitas of your presence, make other people’s ideas seem like your ideas, and look like a true leader by questioning the efficiency of the whole process.