When in the meeting, you could find millions of reasons just to sit there and wait for the time to pass by. Each meeting could be just another reason to complain about wasted time for never ending debates.
And some meetings are like these — not worth attending. But I would dare to say, that most of the meetings get useless because we ourselves make them useless while non participating in them properly. Silent participants reduce the motivation by organizers to prepare each time better.
Let’s assume the meeting that is going to happen is an intro meeting for upcoming IT project. You are test or development team member. You could expect business representatives to share their ideas, maybe already high level architecture or the purpose of the product.
Just do not sit there. Take your mind to the meeting together!
You have to switch your mind to an active mode and raise your awareness. This is not a meeting to sit and listen. If you are a true expert in your field, you already will be drawing mind-maps of the features, linking new flows with existing functionalities, cross-check limitations known by you, question compliance with rules or regulations or even suitability with the current implementation, think about existing unit or automation test sets and performance problems.
For testers, even initial functionality overview meetings should give you enough clearance for main flows, business acceptance scenarios and list of risks, to be covered with system test. For developers, it is highly expected to be aware, how much the complexity of the implementation, integration or technical risks should come into question.
You miss these or similar questions in the meetings, you will simply delay them to later stages. In other words, with your passive participation you might reduce chances to work effectively and succeed. For all the team.
Sitting passively had never built products to be proud of .Organizers do their part with preparation. You do your part while coming with your brains and using them. Use, and enjoy.