Mademoiselle magazine, which usually advises readers on the decisions they make in fitting rooms, has advice for those doing time in board rooms, too. The subject is how to stay awake and feign excitement at boring meetings, and business advice columnist Rebecca Sharp has four suggestions:
Arrange your arms, legs, head and torso into "attentive" body language. One suggestion is "putting the palms of your hands together in a prayerful position in front of your mouth and keeping your eyes downcast." This looks worshipful and serious.
Practice harmless universal phrases you can use if you are called upon. Two examples: "Absolutely yes, I understand what you're driving at," and "That's a great idea; to whom can we look for support?"
Prepare three or four points _ possibly totally unimportant and irrelevant _ you want to make, "and leap up off your chair to make them. This buys you the right to space out for the rest of the meeting."
Don't doodle. Bring a yellow pad to meetings, but write on it _ a letter to a friend will do _ instead of drawing. The boss will think you're taking notes.