Whether you are in charge of a small team or you’re the manager of a large company, meeting preparation is essential to making sure that everyone stays on track and that things run smoothly. Even though most people can figure out what needs to be done, there are times when they forget and fall behind. To avoid this you should make sure that you know exactly what to do so that you are not wasting time or energy and getting nowhere.
One of the first techniques is to schedule an actual meeting. Meetings can be a great way to get everyone together so that they can identify areas of the business that need attention. However, if you are holding a meeting for nothing more than a promotion or an audit you should plan on spending about half the time actually having the meeting. This will ensure that everyone gets the chance to refresh themselves and catch up, it will also help you keep focused. The last thing you want is to leave the meeting halfway because you were too busy catching up with everybody else.
Once you have scheduled a meeting, the next step is to determine what you are going to discuss. Is it going to be about planning for the next month or year? Or will you be discussing how your company is doing? If you are planning for the future, then you need to make sure that you keep everyone’s attention. If you are planning on discussing your recent results then you should use a lot of personal time and keep a few minutes for a good team-building question.
When you finally sit down to conduct the meeting, try to prepare as much as possible. For example, if you are having an accountant review the current balance of your accounts, then be sure to take along a copy of the latest accountant’s report. Before you go into the meeting, be sure to jot down everything you will need to say. This will make it easier to come back to the meeting with everything you need to share.
Asking questions is an important part of any meeting. You need to ask open-ended questions that will give your speaker time to compose his or her answer. Be sure to listen carefully to the answers and consider whether there is something you can ask to elaborate on that particular topic. It’s very important to focus on the topic of the meeting before asking questions and you should never stop others from asking questions.
Another technique is to ask your guests to raise their hands. You may have a lot of names but you should ask them to signify who they are. Then, you should distribute handouts to everyone in the meeting. Make sure that they know who everyone is so they don’t continue to talk about themselves. If you like, you can interject with some information that you have about the topic at hand.
Communication is key when it comes to any meeting. Be sure that you communicate what you want to do with regard to the project you have at hand. If you have ideas about what needs to be done, be sure to vocalize those ideas. For example, if you have an idea about how to improve employee attendance, you should let the person know. By doing this, you will be creating a good environment where everyone is comfortable with expressing their ideas.
These techniques will ensure that you are fresh and focused for your next meeting. Be sure to listen carefully to what someone says, and then take the time to think about how you can make a suggestion to help improve the group. Also, be sure to clear your thoughts up before you start speaking so that you won’t have any misunderstandings. If you follow these simple tips, you will find that you are much more likely to be able to stay on task during any meeting. You will also find that you can stay on task because you are focused.