How to prepare for a meeting is a difficult question to answer, depending on the tone, setting, content, and formality, professional meetings may vary greatly. However, preparing yourself for the meeting beforehand helps you stay relevant and put your thoughts across confidently. Here are a few steps to achieve it.
Confirm The Time, Place, And Duration
Having a thorough idea of the time, place, and duration of the meeting helps you plan your meeting and the day better. If you are in charge of letting your team know about the same, make sure you get the information right before sending across the memo. Any correction to this info could lead to confusion and in some cases may lead to people being absent for the meeting.
Prepare The Agenda
An agenda for the meeting gives everyone attending the meeting a fair idea of what the meeting is about and what to expect out of it. This helps everyone to stay on the same page, be focused, and effective. A good agenda should cover the topics (with breakups) and the time required in discussing each topic. The names of people who would be covering these topics helps manage the flow of the meeting efficiently.
Get Minutes From Previous Meetings
Minutes of Meeting (MoM) play an important role in helping people get a quick idea of what was discussed throughout the meeting. Going through MoM from the previous meeting helps you plan better for the present one. It helps you double check on the ideas, gain perspective if you had missed a meeting, and stay on track as everyone else.
Gather All The Necessary Documents
While preparing for the meeting, documents like statistics, trends, presentations, or any other document that could add value to the meeting should be kept ready beforehand. If you are in charge of distributing this document, make sure you do it well in advance to avoid any last minute confusions or miss outs. If the document/info is short, it could be circulated through an email, otherwise a hardcopy of the same can be shared with people who would be attending the meeting. If you are about to give a presentation, create one with relevant information and infographics.
Keep All The Equipments In Place
While preparing for the meeting, Keeping all the equipments necessary like a paper, pen, projector, screens, laser points, microphone, audio speakers, and cable hook ups in place is a good practice. If there are multiple people presenting their ideas, make sure to check if they need any special equipments for their presentation and cater to the needs, if necessary.
Create A List Of Questions
While preparing for the meeting, if you are looking forward to getting your queries answered, keep the questions ready. Frame them in an assertive way, which everyone can easily understand. Make sure you start with general questions in the beginning to lighten the conversation and then switch to actual questions that you intend to get answers for.
Depending on how formal the meeting is, make sure you dress up formally. Keep up with the dress code norms of your organization, if there are any. Always remember that you could make your first impression through the way you dress up to a meeting. Being dressed casually could give away an impression that you are unprofessional. However, if your organization follows casual dress code, make sure you wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t interfere with your routine.