How To Prepare For Meetings

  1. Try to invite people on two to three different occasions to ensure their attendance;
  2. Make a formal invitation, usually in person or by telephone at least two weeks in advance.
  3. Send a follow-up confirmation note and agenda after attendance has been confirmed.
  4. Try for a reminder. Have an assistant call to remind attendees about the meeting, or mention it to them yourself, in conversation.
  5. As the chairman, preparing an agenda in advance helps you to;
  6. Determine what items you want to cover;
  7. Communicate to participants what is to be considered and what is expected of them;
  8. Create order and control at the meeting;
  9. Establish standards by which the success of the meeting can be measured.
  10. Circulate your agenda in advance. If you can't, write it on a flip chart or white board before participants arrive. The agenda should include:
  11. The purpose of the meeting, stated in one succinct sentence; e.g. "To review and agree details of the annual budget";
  12. The start time and finish time;
  13. Meeting location, including street address, floor, room number and map if necessary;
  14. A list of who will be attending, and their titles;
  15. Individual items to be covered, and action items on each
  16. Put simple announcements at the beginning of the meeting, to warm up the group.
  17. Start and finish the meeting with positive items.
  18. If someone else is preparing the agenda, approach them beforehand to make sure your items are on the list for discussion.
  19. Consider starting meetings at oddball times, such as 10:08 am.
  20. Schedule a meeting for late in the day if you want it to be short. Business has a tendency to move quickly as it approaches five o'clock.
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