The way that you prepare for business meetings can be the difference between a successful one and a less than successful one. The amount of time and work that you have put in beforehand, the more efficient and informed you will be when the meeting comes around. However, we know how busy work can get. Not everybody has the benefit of enough time for a meeting as they have other tasks to complete. Luckily, we have a list of things to do in order to prepare for a meeting, here they are:
Determine the Purpose
One of the first things to do when preparing a meeting is to identify what the purpose of it is. There can be many different reasons to hold one. Is it for the purpose of making a decision? Solving a problem? Motivating employees? Relaying information? No matter what the aim of the meeting is, knowing why you need these people to gather together will help you with the rest of your preparation.
Identify if a Meeting is Necessary
How many times have you been called to a meeting that wasn’t really needed? You need to be able to determine if taking time out of employee’s busy schedules is worth it. There are several situations when a meeting shouldn’t be the solution. If you haven’t had enough time to prepare then the meeting won’t be productive. If you need individual opinions then it will be better to ask them one on one.
Create a Preliminary Agenda
You will want to lay out exactly how you plan the meeting going. Determining the time that each topic is going to take will help keep the meeting running smoothly. Think about how long you are going to spend on your introduction, conclusion, whether there will be time for questions at the end etc. The longer that people spend in a meeting, the less interested they become. For successful business meetings you want to get the timing right.
Invite the Right People
Maybe the most important part of a meeting is the people participating in it. You will want to identify the people that are going to positively impact the meeting, as well as the people who will be influenced by its outcome. Don’t take time out of a particular person’s day if they have no stake in the meeting. That is only going to waste both of your times.
Business Meetings: Give Roles to the People Participating
Look at the people who are coming to your meeting. Identify where each ones strengths lie and give them a role to play in your meeting. This will help proceedings run a lot smoother. It will also help increase their focus and participation in the meeting. Roles that can be given out include facilitator, scribe, timekeeper, contributor and expert.