Preparation is key when it comes to meetings. That’s why we prepared 6 tips for you on how to perfectly prepare for a business meeting.
Type of meeting
It is important to identify the type of meeting you are attending. There are several types. Your business meeting could either be about the status updates, decision-making, problem-solving, team building, information sharing, pitch, etc. In each one, there should be a different approach. Knowing the type of meeting, you can plan your ideas, write notes, prepare presentations, and bring important files/devices.
The second important thing is to know who the attendees are and what their roles are. This way, you can set up a tone of voice that you want to use and relevant information you want to share. For example, you might want to choose a more serious and engaging tone when you are meeting with a potential client than when you are meeting with your close colleagues for a team-building session. There, you might want to choose a more friendly and laid-back tone.
Are you the person who oversees the agenda? Or are you the one who follows one? This is important to indicate because there is different planning for each person. If you are in charge of creating the agenda, think about others and their needs. Start with small talk and continue with the “complicated to digest information.” Set small coffee/snack breaks and leave the more engaging and laid-back part for the end, where others can ask questions. If you are the person who follows an agenda made by someone else, look through it before you enter the meeting room.
Is the meeting online or do you have to travel somewhere? If the meeting is physical, make sure that you know the exact location and figure out what is the best way to get there. You should plan your journey accordingly so that you are on time. If the meeting takes place online, make sure that your devices are fully functional (e.g., webcam, microphone, headphones).
Objective What do you want to achieve? What is the desired outcome of this meeting? Every meeting should have a SMART goal (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-specific). If you can set up goals, you can plan the 6th tip of this list.
Follow-up activities Lastly, don’t forget to plan any follow-up activities. These depend on the type of meeting and on the outcome, but it could mean, e.g., arranging another meeting, sending follow-up e-mails/materials or calling.
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