How to Prepare for a Meeting

Whether you’re brainstorming ideas, sharing customer stories, or deciding on business strategies, effective meetings aren’t something that just happens. They require time, energy and a lot of planning to ensure that everyone comes home feeling that they’ve learned something useful from the event.

The preparation for meetings begins by understanding what the goal of the meeting is. What are the goals that the team needs to achieve at the conclusion of this session? This is often referred to as the “Why” of the meeting. It is what determines your decision-making as well as the discussion topics and the results. It’s essential to adhere to one goal to ensure that participants can remain focused.

Before the meeting gets underway, make sure to ask questions to clarify the situation asynchronously and then share the questions with everyone else in the group to help them prepare for the meeting. If you wait until the meeting to ask questions wastes lots of time during the meeting which could be better used for other tasks.

The creation of an agenda is a important aspect of preparing for meetings and it’s crucial to make this transparent, open and accessible to everyone. The agenda provides structure to the meeting and ensures it stays on topic.

It’s a good idea to assign a person to be the timekeeper and note-keeper to ensure the meeting starts and ends on time and that all agenda items are discussed in a proper order. It’s beneficial to assign a person to send out notes after the meeting to ensure that all important details are captured.