This article will briefly explain the following:
- How to Prepare for a meeting
- How to start a meeting
- How to Manage a meeting
- How to follow-up on a meeting
Things You'll Need
- Common Sense
Prepare for a meeting, the most important part of a meeting setting the stage with all your invitees. Prior to hitting that send button on your calendar make sure you have 1. put together an agenda that follows an order for conversation 2. role of each attendee: raci chart 3. Objective of the meeting: make decision, gather ideas, etc. and finally 4. the goal of the meeting. Objective and goal are not the same, see my other articles.
Start the meeting by going through the 1. objective, 2. agenda and 3. introduce the attendees by describing there role for the meeting; if a large group let the individuals introduce themselves, guide them by having them state there name, title and role. It is key for facilitating project manager to set the guidelines for the meeting. Guideline for meetings can be no side discussions, no interruptions, no cell phone use, no computers, etc.
Managing the meeting is where you can show your facilitation skills. Managing a meeting is making sure that you are spending enough time on each agenda. Enough time does not mean the same amount of time for each agenda item; time management is making sure that you are trying to attain you goal for the meeting, the agenda items are a guide toward that goal.
The meeting follow-up is key to accomplishing your goal. During the meeting, taking notes on next steps and points for future discussion are needed to manage your follow-up meetings. Send a follow-up e-mail to the attendees with the follow-up points from each agenda item and the next steps by individual. Also set-up the next meeting or multiple meetings by using your notes from the last meeting to ensure continuaty.
Tips & Warnings
- Keep your calm
- Constantly ask yourself if you are headed toward your goal
- Be professional
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