Guest Contributor

How to be More Efficient Prepping for Your Next Meeting

By | Regina Thomas

There’s nothing as embarrassing as going to a meeting unprepared. Have you ever heard of employees getting fired after sessions? You wouldn’t want to be part of that statistic.

It is during the meeting that companies strategize about their moves, get tenders, or seal deals. An employer cannot continue having you on his payroll if you let business deals slip off just because you keep messing up during your presentation times, you’ll get fired.

If you want your meeting to be successful, prepare well enough. Here are the four critical things you have to do.

Understand What the Meeting is All About

Once a meeting is set, and you’ve received an invitation, get down, and try to understand what the session will entail. This is more important if you are not the one who planned the meeting. Read the agenda of the meeting and understand it.

The meeting can be about solving a problem, discussing a new concept, seeking ideas from employees about new rules or procedures to be adopted, or just passing information about certain steps the organization has taken. It can also be about discussing the company with potential investors or customers.

Whatever the case, you need to understand the agenda and find out what will be expected of you. If the plan requires research, like when it involves the discussion of new concepts or sharing ideas, research about it, so you’ll be useful during the meeting.

Prepare Yourself for The Meeting

If you are attending a meeting, it would be awkward to keep asking the person seated next to you about what you’d say when your time comes. Again, if you are hosting a meeting, it would look professional to appear unprepared before your audience. If you feel you aren’t ready for a meeting, it would be better to call it off.

If you need some notes, prepare them early enough, and repeatedly go through them to ensure you are familiar with the content so you can talk without referring to the notes all the time. If it is about a presentation, the PowerPoint slide master can be your best companion. You can also use a whiteboard or a projector, depending on the nature of your presentation.

When you have to use any device, ensure you learn how to use it in advance so you may not have problems on the day of the meeting. You can also test them a day to the meeting to ensure they are in perfect condition. If your presentation requires electricity, arrange for power backup that you can use in case of a blackout.

Know The Attendees

A meeting can bring together many people, and in most cases, you may not know all of them. Getting to identify those who’ll attend the meeting will make you feel comfortable during the meeting and help you prepare answers if they ask you questions. For example, if you are in charge of the IT department, you may want to know which managers will be present at the meeting and what information they may require.

The production manager may want to know what you can do to automate the production process. Also, the customer service department may want to know what you are doing to improve its communication system. In contrast, the security department may want to know what measures you’ve put in place to ensure the whole premise is secure.

Develop The Meeting Agenda

This is important if you are the one hosting the meeting. Remember, a meeting must have a purpose. So, you must develop a plan that covers everything you need to be discussed at the meeting. Do not try to fit so many discussion points in one session.

Make your plan simple and clear so the attendees will not have a problem understanding it. It is also essential to let the participants know about the meeting and the program early enough to prepare for it.

Before You Go

Remember that meetings are the lifelines of all organizations. No organization can grow without meetings. That’s why you need to give all meetings the attention they deserve. Prepare well and dress well on the meeting day.

As stated above, each meeting should have a specific adjective so that attendees don’t get confused. After meetings, there must be follow-ups to ensure whatever resolutions were made are implemented. If it were a meeting with an investor or a potential customer, follow-ups would also be necessary to push the deal.

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