• 1)Are you the kind of person who would love to talk in office meetings, but always end up sitting quietly in a team argument?
  • 2)Are you the one whose opinions are never heard amongst your colleagues?
  • 3)Are you that same human being who is always looked down by everyone when they converse with you?
  • 4)Do you lack argumentative skills?
If your answer is YES, this post is just for you. This morning, Chronicwriter spent nearly 20 minutes in the loo to come out with a solution for people like you.

If your answer is NO, you can still read this post. I am sure that you know that everything written here is crap. The intention is to see that bright smile back on your face.

The Scenario

Consider the scenario of you being in a room with ten of your colleagues and the discussion is getting hotter. The Boss is sitting chairing the argument. This is your opportunity to gain his attention by talking wisely. But If you are the kind of guy who doesn't even understand what the topic is, then you gotta take my advice.

Chronicwriter's Gyaan on effective Talking

Let us assume that the Topic is "Pricing the New-product" . Of course No one in the meeting room will have any idea about what might be the best pricing mechanism for the product in talk. The Product manager (The Boss) would also not have any idea on what is happening in the room. This is where you gotta understand the reason behind the meeting. Usually Bosses conduct meetings because they would have seen this picture.

If you had gone through the above picture, you would know that the Boss would be the one who would usually do the initial talk. This initial talk would go on for some 30 minutes. This is the time when you are supposed to eat the biscuits, drink coffee and send text messages via your hand phone to your friends. Do not ask silly questions to offend your boss. Let the boss do all the talking. After the initial speech is over, you and your colleagues get the opportunity to discuss and brainstorm to arrive at a conclusion.

Always remember to start the conversation after the boss finishes his speech. Make it sure that you give a dizzy feeling to your team-mates in your starting lines. So always start with a quantitative analytical report.(In other words, Speak Numbers). So please dont start the argument by saying," We should price our product cheaper to penetrate the market". Instead just say:" The average product line leverage buying capacity from the customer side is $86 per month which is 24 % higher than the average buying capacity of an individual customer"

The ground rule is simple. No one should understand what you speak.Round one is yours. You would have surely got your boss's attention. But remember that all your 9 colleagues are also there to get the boss's attention . So there would surely be one Smart-Head who would pop up the question," Where did you get that figures from?". Do not fret. Just make up an instant answer, " This is from the Haylard and Montengmor Report on retail products and it was published in the European Journal of Marketing -Volume III" End this line with " Haven't you read it yet?" .Say this in a stern voice.This is the exact moment you are supposed to turn and look at your boss and smile gently.

Now you have made the rest of the team members feel so small. So you can start munching on the doughnut and give others an opportunity to speak.It is impossible for anyone in the room to continue from your initial opening statements. So invariably the team members would try to change the topic and take it in a different direction. In the mean time, make it sure that you finish the doughnut and get ready for the second tactic.

The second tactic is very risky and it should be used with great precision. The following five points should be memorised before you use the second tactic.
  • 1)In terms of
  • 2)So let me put it this way
  • 3)Per se
  • 4)The demographics can be
  • 5)Consider this scenario (Chronicwriter started this post with this line)
In addition please memorise the abbreviations MTD, SRSL, TQM (Total quality management). Please do not ask me what the first two abbreviations stand for. Just expand them using your creative brains.

Now I hope you would have memorized the five words/phrases and also the acronyms. Now I will explain how to use these phrases in a meeting.

Suppose you want to say," Class-B customers would prefer to buy 3 products per month but they do not have enough money". I can bet you that you won't win an argument by talking plain simple sentences like that. If you want to shock your team mates the second time say this," So let me put it this way,in terms of product buying capacity of the Class-B Customer,the demographics can be segmented according to their negative buying power per se, as it were MTD."

Only an idiot would challenge this statement. Now you would have even made your boss look very inferior. So even your boss might be scared to ask any doubts and make a fool of himself at this juncture. Now just sit back, relax and watch all your team mates faces. They would be shell shocked for sure. But do not relax for more than five minutes, because by then they would have regained their composture. But even if they regain their compusture, do not worry because you still havent driven the nail in the coffin.

Humor is the name of the final nail. You have taken the discussion to a whole new level and your colleagues would be in the middle of an heated argument. Time would be running out of their hands and hence they would be waiting to pounce on each other at the slightest of mistakes committed by the other team mate. So this is where you should drive the nail in the coffin. Always keep a few sarcastical lines in your memory. You can use these lines when someone tries to corner you. For example remember these three remarks.
  • 1)Don't compare apples to oranges
  • 2)Don't be too defensive.
  • 3)What are your parameters ( This is very useful. Only TRUE engineers/chartered accountants know the meaning of Parameters)
Also do not forget to use the classic remark: Are you feeling uncomfortable?
This is how you should use these reflex-lines

You say: In 2008 the Finance minister Mr. Fernandez issued..
Your colleague says: In 2008, Mr.Chidambaram was the Finance minister
You say: Don't compare apples to oranges

You say : Class B customers have more buying capacity than Class A customers
Your colleague says: Class B are poorer than Class A
You say: Don't be too defensive

When nothing works out and if your colleague has cornered you to the wall, look into his eyes and say " You remind me of my strict grandfather" and before he could reply, end your statement by saying," Are you feeling uncomfortable?". If he says No, you can start it all over again with the quantitative analytical report.

Meetings would never have been this much fun in your life.

-Chronicwriter ( Winner of Best team contributor for two years in a row)