I know, it’s crazy, you’d think business professionals would know all of the steps to prepare for a meeting, but oh, would you be surprised.
Meetings are a major part of the workforce no matter what level or title you hold, you will at one point or another be in a meeting or even conducting one. Being prepared to provide your very best for every meeting is a bit of a learning curve when you’re new to a business. Start by understanding the culture of how meetings are run, how long they last, and how often they happen in your organization. To be efficient in your presentation, here are a few steps to conduct a meeting and how to prepare to attend a meeting.
Conducting A Meeting
You’re in the driver seat, and all eyes will be on you. So getting your information together for a meeting is the most critical step.
Make sure you have the right information
And not just the information you want to present, but also what level of employees you are having this meeting with. Talking over someone’s head can cause confusion and discourage employees from seeing the vision or goal you have in mind.
Be aware of your time constraints
How long is the meeting supposed to last? Don’t talk up to the very end of the meeting, if it is a new plan or product being introduced, be sure to leave enough time for questions. Practice giving your speech on a family member, friend, or colleague, some people just have that “thing” they don’t necessarily need to prepare anything except for their information, if you’re like me, practice makes perfect. Slow down and enunciate your words, when I’m in-front of people I get nervous and start talking extremely fast.
A meeting isn’t always a big speech, but you never know when the CEO or your boss might pop their head in, you want to always be ready.
Sitting Through A Meeting
Getting the most out of a meeting isn’t easy either, so here are a few tips.
Bring pen and paper
I didn’t think I’d have to write this, but then I though back over a few meetings when people didn’t show up with anything. With people being hooked to their phones or computers, I like the idea of companies having a no phone rule in place during a meeting. We understand that emergency situations happen, but most of the time people pull out their phone because they want to peek on social media or text a friend to confirm dinner plans.
And actually take notes
For a presenter, it’s very distracting and less than encouraging when the audience isn’t paying attention and this doesn’t just go for large crowds of people. When your company calls a meeting, hopefully, they are trying to relay information that is deemed important, and not being like Michael Scott and calling a meeting because the manager wanted to stop working and playing a game. Not all meetings can be summed up in a follow up email, so make sure you take notes, pay attention, and listen, all of those things we were supposed to do in school.
Meetings can be demanding, they can take out a chunk of your day that was planned for something else, they can last longer than you expected, or be a complete surprise. But you shouldn’t dread meetings on principle. When change is happening in your organization, for example, meetings are essential. Make the most out of every meeting for yourself, your colleagues and your company.