When you’re brainstorming ideas or sharing stories of customers or agreeing on business strategies, successful meetings don’t just happen. Effective meetings take planning time and effort to ensure everyone feels that they have gained something from the experience.
Understanding the meeting’s objective is essential to preparing for it. What is the team expected to accomplish by the end of this session? This is often referred to as the «Why» of the meeting. It is what drives your decision making discussions, discussion topics and results. It’s important to set one goal and stick to it so participants remain focused throughout the meeting.
Before the meeting gets underway be sure to ask questions to clarify the situation asynchronously and share the questions with everyone else in the group so that they can plan accordingly. The delay in waiting until the meeting to ask questions is a waste of much time which could be used for other things.
A meeting agenda is an essential element of meeting preparation. It is crucial to ensure that it is easy to access, a collaborative process and accessible to everyone. An agenda gives the meeting structure and keeps it on topic, ensuring that nothing falls by the wayside or is overlooked.
It’s a good idea to assign someone as the timekeeper and note-keeper to ensure that the meeting is held on time and that all agenda items are discussed in the proper order. It’s also helpful to assign the person to send out the notes after the meeting, so all important information is recorded and distributed.