Meetings have a really bad press: whether participants feel they are “A waste of time”; “Nothing ever gets agreed” or even “I can never get my point across”, they can be frustrating for many people. However if run properly, and if individuals are properly prepared beforehand, they are invaluable for businesses and project management.
Whether you are part of a team delivering a global project or an entrepreneur meeting a contact for coffee, there are huge benefits, and one of the key elements is to be prepared.
Here are my five top tips to preparing for a meeting.
- If there is an agenda, make sure you read it before the meeting. You will be able to double check the status of specific projects with your team, as well as note down any information or news that needs to be conveyed at the meeting.
- Check who else is going to be at the meeting and if they are involved in the same project, get in touch with them before the meeting. If you have a brief catch up with them before the meeting, it could be useful, particularly if there is a controversial topic on the agenda, or someone else who is objecting to specific projects.
- For people you don’t know, make sure you do some research on them on Linkedin, Twitter and their website. The more background knowledge you have about the other person the better. You might have a mutual contact; have worked at the same company or studied at the same university.
- If it is a less formal meeting, plan your agenda and email it to the other person before the meeting. As an entrepreneur, a lot of my meetings are less formal. I find I am more focused and we both make more out of the opportunity if I have agreed an agenda with the person I am meeting.
- Plan your objectives/outcomes from the meeting beforehand, so you can prepare what you want to say. If you are clear about these you can plan how you are going to contribute to the meeting, and how you are going to move forward specific projects or topics.
We are launching a Meeting Skills online course. For more details and to be kept informed of when it is launched, as well as some bonus “goodies” register here.