Meeting Preparation – Not a time to fake it!
Updated: Sep 10, 2021
Organizing an upcoming meeting? In today’s busy world everyone is multi-tasking; juggling both personal and work-life. With more and more meetings on our agenda, sometimes its difficult to get anything accomplished!
It doesn’t have to be that way though. With a little preparation, meetings can be very useful and productive. Here are seven tips that not only help you take control, but make sure it’s productive and is a valuable use of your time and that of others.
Get to the Point Identify the reason for the meeting. Does your department need to be updated on a new company initiative? Is there a problem that needs solving? Is input necessary from various stakeholders to solve a recurring problem or issue? Most importantly, before you set up a meeting, make sure a meeting is required. Can it be resolved via email or a quick face to face with another staff member? Whatever the reason for the meeting, knowing ahead of time what the purpose is ensures a more productive meeting.
Who needs to be there? The outcome of Step 1 will determine who needs to attend the meeting. Identify any key decision-makers and staff members that need to be informed (as part of their role) and anybody that will be involved in implementing a deliverable. If you are new to the firm and have not yet met all the attendees face to face, get familiar with their position in the firm and with their background.
Book it Danno! Determine the size of the space required and book the room well in advance. Make sure it can accommodate the number of people attending and it has the necessary technology (could be you need a phone or just a mic) access to any AV equipment required. If the attendees will be participating in a virtual setting, test the equipment ahead of time so that everyone can see and hear properly.
Let’s Talk about it Draft a suggested agenda that outlines the time and place, purpose of the meeting, attendees, assigned roles and objectives. Determine if any supporting documentation is required and who needs to supply it.
Presentation Templates If there is a company presentation template available, provide it to any attendees that will be presenting. For some great resources, see my blog post from January 31, 2019, “Eight Helpful Resources to spark your creativity”.
Get the word out Email the agenda along with any supporting documentation to the key participants for comments or questions at least one week ahead. Post the meeting on any team-sharing digital calendar if one exists.
Ready, Set Go! On the day of the meeting, print agendas and documentation for all the participants. Sometimes this is digital for those wanting to save paper and be green. Take care of any last-minute details such as coffee and equipment, etc. Lastly, as meeting chair, arrive 15 minutes early to make sure the room is all set up and ready to go!
Soon: How to run a meeting using Roberts Rules of Order.