How to Prepare for a Meeting

While brainstorming ideas or sharing stories from customers, or agreeing on business strategies, successful meetings don’t just happen. They require time, energy, and lots of planning to ensure that everyone walks home feeling that they’ve learned something worth gaining from the experience.

Understanding the purpose of the meeting is crucial to prepare for it. What are the goals that the team needs to achieve by the end of the session? This is the “Why” of the meeting, and it is the driving force behind decision-making discussions, discussion topics, and the outcomes. It’s important to set one goal and stick to it, so attendees are able to remain focused throughout the meeting.

Before the meeting begins be sure to ask clarifying questions in asynchronous manner and share the questions with the other members of the team so that they can prepare accordingly. If you wait until the meeting to ask questions is a waste of the time during the session which could be used for other things.

Making an agenda is a important aspect of meeting preparation and it’s vital to ensure that this is open, accessible and clear to everyone. Agendas give the meeting structure and keeps the meeting on track making sure that nothing falls through the cracks or gets ignored.

It’s also a good idea to assign a person as the note-keeper and timekeeper so that they can ensure the meeting starts and ends on time and that all agenda topics are discussed in the proper order. It’s also helpful to designate a person to send out notes after the meeting to ensure that all crucial details are recorded.