A successful meeting starts with preparation. It may seem that an agenda is all you need, but in reality, we know that is not true. Meetings may come off as unnecessary or a waste of time and an agenda will not fix that problem. Here are a few ways a leader like you can prepare for a successful meeting.
- Before scheduling a meeting, ask yourself: “Do we need to have this meeting?” If the answer is yes, ask yourself: “Why?” If the issue can be resolved without meeting with one another, then it is probably unnecessary to have one. If it is needed, those who will be attending will be more likely to prepare, participate, accomplish, and resolve. TIP: More engagement leads you and your team closer to success.
- Make the purpose of the meeting clear to your attendees. Set a goal and your expectations for each individual. At this time, you should also send out a notice of the time and location of the meeting – that way you may include the answers to the big questions: who, what, when, where, and why.
- Set an agenda. This not only includes each item that will be gone over during the meeting, but also the time limitations for yourself and the secretary to take down the minutes. This will keep the meeting running at a steady rate, yet allow the meeting to keep its purpose without being too controlled on time.
- Gather any necessary equipment or materials for the meeting such as additional handouts, chairs, screen/projector, speakers, etc. This will keep your meeting from being dragged on due to technical difficulties and/or disorganization.
- Create a list of open-ended questions and topic starters to keep the meeting from losing engagement. You need effective participation to accomplish your goal. Encourage brainstorming!
- Send out reminders! This will assure that your meeting will start promptly at a given time.
Now, before you call the meeting to order, make sure you are well prepared. Not only will these tips lead you to success, but will also lead your team to success.