While brainstorming ideas, sharing customer stories, or agreeing on business strategies, successful meetings aren’t something that just happens. They take time, effort, and lots of planning to ensure that everyone comes with the feeling that they’ve gained something useful from the event.
Understanding the meeting’s objective is vital to preparing for it. What does the team need to accomplish by the end of the session? This is often called the “Why” behind the meeting and is what is the basis for your decision-making discussions, discussion topics and results. It’s important to set one objective and stick to it, so attendees are able to remain focused throughout the meeting.
Affirmative questions to ask prior to the meeting’s start is an excellent idea. Share the questions with your team members so they can prepare. Waiting until the meeting to ask questions is a waste of the time which could be better used for other tasks.
Creating an agenda is another important aspect of preparing for meetings and it’s important to make it an open and transparent process to everyone. Agendas give the meeting structure and keeps it on topic making sure that nothing slips between the cracks or is ignored.
It’s also an excellent idea to assign one person to be the note keeper and time keeper to ensure that the meeting starts and ends on time, and that all agenda items are discussed in the proper order. It’s helpful to designate a person to send out notes following the meeting to ensure that all key details are recorded.