How to Prepare for a Meeting

When you’re brainstorming ideas, sharing customer stories, or agreeing on business strategies, effective meetings don’t just happen. They require time, effort and a lot of planning to ensure that everyone walks home feeling that they’ve learned something valuable from the experience.

The preparation for meetings begins by understanding what the goal of the meeting is. What is the group’s goal to accomplish by the end the meeting? This is the “Why” behind the meeting, and it’s what drives decision-making, discussion topics, and the outcomes. It is essential to stay with one purpose so that the participants can remain focused.

Asking questions to clarify the situation prior to the meeting’s start is an excellent idea. Discuss the questions with your team members so they can prepare. The delay in waiting until the meeting to ask questions is a waste of the time during the meeting that could be spent on other tasks.

An agenda is another crucial aspect of meeting preparation and it’s vital to ensure that this is an open and transparent process to everyone. The agenda provides structure to the meeting and helps ensure that it remains on the right track.

It’s a good idea to assign someone as the timekeeper and note-keeper to ensure that the meeting begins and ends on time and that agenda topics are discussed in the right order. It’s also helpful to assign an individual to make notes available after the meeting, so all important information is captured and shared.

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