How to Prepare for a Meeting

When you’re brainstorming ideas or sharing customer stories or deciding on business strategies, effective meetings aren’t something that just happens. They require time, effort and lots of planning to ensure that everyone comes out feeling like they’ve learned something valuable from the experience.

Understanding the meeting’s objective is vital to preparing for it. What are the goals that the team needs to achieve by the end of this session? This is the “Why” that drives the meeting, and it’s what drives the decision-making process discussions, discussion topics, and results. It is essential to stay with one goal to ensure that participants can remain focused.

Before the meeting begins ensure that you ask clarifying questions in asynchronous manner and then share the questions with the rest of the team to help them prepare for the meeting. The delay in waiting until the meeting to ask questions is a waste of much time during the meeting that could be better spent on other things.

Making an agenda is a key aspect of meeting preparation and it’s important to make it an open and transparent process to everyone. The agenda gives structure to the meeting and ensures that it stays on track.

It’s also an ideal idea to assign an individual to serve as the note keeper as well as the timekeeper who will ensure that the meeting begins and ends on schedule and that all agenda items are discussed in a proper order. It’s a good idea to designate a person to send out notes following the meeting to ensure that all key details are captured.