How to plan for business meetings?

Business

Do you often plan business meetings? If yes, how does the implementation of the meeting take place? How successful the meeting is?

The improvement and workability of any business are often analyzed through meetings.  It is important to ensure that the time and manpower spent on a meeting do not go wasted. People often conduct a meeting that doesn’t lead to peculiar objectives. This happens because these meetings include the wrong people an  end up running poorly.

Businesses can use some improvement tips to immediately change time management and team members’ collaboration. Following best practices, and holding everyone accountable can significantly improve your meeting experience. 

One of the wise steps for conducting a successful meeting is beforehand good preparation. This will include a prospectus that you need to implement. 

Meetings can be conducted both online and offline. However, the major difference between them is their nature. Nonetheless, The goal remains the same. Below we will discuss some steps to include in your list before conducting a meeting.

Preparing for a meeting

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DETERMINE  THE PURPOSE OF THE MEETING

What kind of meeting would this be? 

Is it a status update meeting? A problem-solving meeting? Idea sharing or innovative meeting? This is the relevant first step. This will help you give a direction to the further preparation of the meeting. 

It’s better not to meet if:

  • You are out of time to do a solid preparation.
  • Another method of communication such as email or messaging or phone call would work just as well.
  • You have to deal with a sensitive topic or a personnel issue that would be better handled privately.
  • You need to ascertain the opinions of people individually.

 

DEVELOP A ROAD MAP

How much time should be allotted for each item?

It becomes harder for people to remain focused if meetings are stretched. Plan time for every discussion. A brief introduction should be given to provide context. Allot a specific time for every topic and save some time for questions to be discussed. It will be a great idea to manage the time of the meeting efficiently with the maximum outcome.

Make a list

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SELECTION OF THE RIGHT PARTICIPANTS

Who will help you to accomplish your meeting goals? For whom will the meeting be a waste of time?

These factors need to be kept in mind. Identify the qualities of your teammate. These qualities should sync with a meeting on general terms.

These qualities can include:

  • A key decision-maker.
  • Knowledgeable about the topic at hand.
  • Need to be informed to do their job.
  • Who would be implementing the decision?

What should be the meeting size?

The size of the meeting will depend on the type of meeting.

The problem-solving meetings need to be kept small(not more than 10 people).

The status update meetings can be as eclectic as you want it to be.

Idea sharing meetings can include a large number of people for brainstorming. The same goes for innovative meetings.

What roles should be assigned to the participants?

A specific role allotted to the participant will increase the quality of engagement. 

These roles can be:

  • A person with leadership skills can be a facilitator to help the group for effective dialogue without taking any sides.
  • A shy person can be a scribe, capture ideas and decisions, and distribute the keynotes.
  • A timekeeper would help to move the discussion along efficiently.
  • A contributor would keep the discussion on track.
  • An expert can provide you with relevant information on particular issues.

 

DECIDING THE AMBIENCE OF THE MEETING

This will depend on the nature of the meeting.

For offline meeting

Are you conducting an informal meeting?

Select a homelike room to comfy the members. It should be a small one. The chairs should be set up in a circle. If there is only one person involved make sure to meet in a safe and silent place.

Offline meetings

Or you are conducting a formal and intense meeting?

A conference room will provide you with the appropriate ambiance.

Meeting area

For online meetings

Make sure your equipment allows everyone to hear, participate, or see people in the room (for video calls).

Online meetings

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TIMINGS OF THE MEETING

Timings of a business meeting do matter. Timings (need help with this)

Make sure the meetings are not to be conducted at odd hours.

Unless in emergencies you have to respect the availability of the person. You can make use of online conference calls in this case.

Business meetings on the holidays should be avoided as much as possible. 

Some small necessary steps to follow are:

NOTICE FOR THE INVITATION

There is a probability that your invitation can go unnoticed by some participants.  Make sure the notice for the meeting is sent to each member by formal sources. Consider the use of a calendar invite. Make sure to communicate in private with the person you need the most in the discussion.

Try to send out any pre-reading a day or two in advance of your meeting. Inform the participants to review the materials before they arrive. You also have to be prepared to highlight the features of the meeting to people who don’t have time to comply.

Agenda for meeting

FINALIZE THE AGENDA

Distribute the final version of the objective of the meeting to the participants. Make sure you have assigned appropriate items and their roles before beginning the meeting.

 

ENDING  OF A MEETING

You can’t predict the future. Therefore you won’t know how the meeting will end?

It is necessary to keep a safe option if the meeting didn’t produce a satisfying outcome. 

Here are a few more things to try to end your meeting well:

  • Close the meeting with the same energy as you started it.
  • Take feedback on the discussion from every person.
  • Get the meeting notes online or offline out right away.
  • Look for the best time to start and end the meeting across multiple time zones with a free tool known as the world clock meeting planner.
  • Use a system like after the meetings to track the duties and status updates.

End a meeting

Some important features to plan if you are conducting a remote meeting.

It is necessary to adapt to the prospectus of an online meeting as they are the future of business meetings.

PC: entrepreneur

PLAN TO CONTROL A CHATTY GROUP  

It’s not easy to control a loud group in virtual meetings as in offline meetings. You need to decide on some strategies to implement effective communication.

  • Due to connectivity issues, there are chances for crosstalks. Leave space for silence to give the other person room to answer and move on. 
  • Do not rely on non-verbal cues such as nodding and facial expressions. Ask for the feedback in chat too.
  • Ask the attendee to use non-verbal feedback tools. For example, Zoom’s “raise hand” feature. For large meetings, ask people to use these tools to indicate when they have a question or input so the host can then call on them directly. This can prevent a lot of chaos.

 

OTHER ETIQUETTE TO KEEP IN MIND

  • Introduce everyone at the time of the meeting.
  • Be patient with the response of attendee on virtual platforms
  • Test all technical tools ( camera/video, Wi-Fi, and screen sharing) before the meeting.
  • Do not forget to record the meeting.
  • Make sure every member is present in a quiet area and free from any unnecessary distractions.

CONCLUSION

Meetings are essential for the growth of any company. You cannot afford poor outcomes from the meetings which involve time and manpower. A checklist is required to make sure the meeting agenda is fulfilled. The more homework you do, the more productive your business meetings come out to be.

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