How to Introduce CEO in a meeting

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Ever find yourself alone in the elevator with the CEO, palms sweating, tongue-tied, wondering whether you should introduce yourself (again) or what better way to leave the executive in peace?

One of my early organization jobs required me to walk a particularly long and narrow hallway several times a day.

I have vivid memories of that long, awkward journey—at one end of the hall, I’m not sure when it was appropriate to see and acknowledge the CEO, who was often coming from a different direction, or if I should just show off to be. Delving into the contents of the Manila folder I was probably carrying.

Here’s what I learned: Take your cues from his body language.

If she’s clearly lost in thoughts or looking through notes about an upcoming appointment on her phone, she may not appreciate the interruption. However, if there are no outward signs of busyness, I recommend erring on the side of being friendly and open, rather than quiet and intimidating.

Aside from random conversations in the hallways and elevators, how can you catch the eye of a CEO who will provide long-term opportunities for you without throwing your colleagues and superiors under the bus?

As the current CMO who has managed to earn the trust of many CEOs, I can tell you that the answer is easier than you might think. These six tips will definitely help. Just be careful not to take your efforts too far; Getting ahead of your role can attract the kind of attention you’re not looking for.

introduce yourself

We’ve established that encountering the CEO unexpectedly shouldn’t spark a sudden interest in checking out your shoes.

Most CEOs I know welcome the opportunity to get acquainted with people at all levels of the organization. Be brief, specific, and positive in your introduction: “I don’t think we’ve met. I’m James, and I’ve been a copywriter here for two months. I’m excited to be here.”

If you’ve met with the CEO before, but you’re not sure whether he’ll be able to put your name or face, give him some context and a topic to talk about: “Hello, I’m Amy from Sales. I’m my boss, Stan. Participated in that quarterly review last month in place of Baldwin. I have to say things are really looking up this quarter.”

You know you’ve gone too far when…

You’re talking so fast it takes a minute to register his response: “Okay, nice to meet you. Now you can release my hand.”

Also be careful not to introduce yourself or go into creepy/hunter territory: “Hi, I’m Jonas. I’ve been here 10 years. We sat next to each other at a sales conference last year? You had dinner. Ordered halibut for that night and spilled tartar sauce on your tie? Man, I loved the navy boots I wore that night.”

volunteer for projects

CEOs have far more ideas than people to execute on those ideas. If you’re in a meeting, and a project opportunity arises that happens to be in your wheelhouse, raise your hand. Volunteer. Even if it means working the weekend.

You are a marketer volunteering to take the balance sheet. Make sure you are qualified to complete the task. Also, be careful not to volunteer – to the extent that you’re pushing your colleagues out of the way. You don’t want to catch the CEO’s eye in a way that makes everyone else hate you.

Show up early and be late

If you want to disappear in the crowd, show up at 8:30 AM and leave at 5:05 PM. Everyday. If you want to attract attention, be the one who is working at your desk all the time at 7:45 am.

If you’re the only one present when the boss comes over, he’s more likely to notice you and probably stop at your desk to ask about a project you’re working on.

Staying after hours can have the same effect, as long as you have a valid work purpose for being there. You really don’t want to be caught pretending to burn the midnight oil while watching a Vine video. (To chuckle audibly while alone at your desk is a dead gift.)

You know you’ve gone too far when…

Your boss sees the same red Honda following her out of the parking lot every evening, just a minute later she leaves the premises.

Ask Your Manager for Help

If you have a good relationship with your direct manager, don’t hesitate to ask directly, “Hey, I’ve never had a chance to see my CEO in action. Can I attend an upcoming meeting or event with you? Like To know who I am when the opportunity comes.”

Most managers who are secure in their own positions will have no problem with this.

You know you’ve gone too far when…

Your manager might think you’re trying to leapfrog him. Remember, the CEO needs attention and importance just like your boss, so never try to make a profit at his expense.

And be mindful of your proper location when you are in that coveted meeting. If you grab all the attention and your manager fades into the background, he may not invite you again.

Don’t Cross Your Limit

Getting noticed by a CEO can be a huge boost to your professional goals, as long as you don’t pay attention for the wrong reasons.

Respect hierarchy and company protocol.

Don’t wind up in the CEO’s office unannounced for a spontaneous conversation: “Hey, man! How’s it going?” Don’t ask for the office your first week at work, even if there’s an empty seat, especially if more senior employees are also occupying the cubicle.

Don’t be the one who is always doing all the talking – jumping in to answer every question, repeating what other people say is just something to say.

You know you’ve gone too far when…

The CEO ignores your outstretched hand and asks, “Does anyone else have an opinion on this topic?” It’s also a bad sign if she sees you in the hallway, talks face to face abruptly, freezes, comes back to her office, and doesn’t answer the door when you knock.

Learn to Write and Present

No matter what your functional area of expertise may be, learning to write well and present your ideas with confidence will set you apart. These two skills are essential for those aiming to climb the corporate ladder.

Your CEO may sit through a half dozen or more presentations each week. If you’re more articulate, prepared, thoughtful, witty and/or confident than the average PowerPoint narrator, the CEO will remember you.

Likewise, if you’re ever asked to write a report or status update to send to the CEO, you’ll receive bonus points for expressing it clearly, concisely, and coherently. Don’t use this opportunity to show off your vocabulary or your in-depth knowledge of the company’s history. Be brief and walk away.

You know you’ve gone too far when…

You employ clowns and jugglers to add excitement to your annual budget presentation. Actually, I take that back. When it comes to writing and presenting, you can never really be too good, too flashy, too sophisticated.

Influence for success

How to Impress Your CEO and Earn That Promotion

Capturing the CEO’s attention in the right way, at the right time, and for the right reasons is not a good way to gain a powerful ally. It can also give you an opportunity to watch him work and learn valuable skills to be successful in the corporate environment.

If you continually work to improve your written and oral skills, take advantage of opportunities, and are eager and willing without pushing the boundaries of good taste, you may find yourself on your way to promotion.

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