George and Mary-Lynn

5 Tips to Prepare for Your Next Meeting

By Bigg Success Staff
05-28-08

Leadership Skills

meeting 

It seems that meetings consume more and more of our time these days. In many cases, people come away feeling like the meeting was a waste of time.

As a leader, you want any meeting you run to be productive. So the next time you’re called upon to run a meeting, keep this in mind:

For every minute the meeting is scheduled to run,
plan to spend at least that much time preparing for it.

In other words, for a meeting that will last an hour, plan to prepare for at least an hour.

As the person running the meeting, it’s your responsibility to make sure the purpose of the meeting is fulfilled. One of the primary reasons why meetings fail is because of a lack of preparation. The best meetings happen before they ever start.

Here are 5 tips for effective meeting preparation:

Be specific
Almost nothing bores people more than a bunch of vague concepts that have no tangible value to them in their jobs. Plan to keep your meeting focused on real things that will make a difference to them today.

Cover new ground
Just rehashing the same old topics meeting after meeting doesn’t have any value. Plan to cover subjects that haven’t been tackled before. Move to new areas to keep your people interested.

Stay on subject
Know what you want to accomplish before the meeting starts so you’re able to keep the conversation moving in that direction. Clearly understand the purpose of each part of your agenda so you can keep things moving along to your ultimate goal.

Plan for participation
If you don’t, you’re unlikely to get any. Know when you want your people to get actively involved. Also plan your response if they don’t step up. Thinking about this beforehand is essential. It’s also important to plan how you will keep their conversation going by mapping out some follow-up questions.

Expect distracting maneuvers

There’s at least one in every crowd … that person who loves to hear himself or herself talk. Plan in advance how you will deal with him or her to keep your conversation moving to your ultimate purpose. This isn’t easy, but it’s perhaps the most important thing you can do to keep everyone engaged in your meeting.

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