How to Prepare for a Meeting

Steve Kaye

Visitors: 220

Every successful project is built upon a foundation of planning.

Here are seven tips that will make your next meeting a success.

1) Involve key participants in preparing agendas for meetings that deal with complex or controversial issues. Your agenda will then have their approval because they helped create it.

2) Set a policy of no surprises. Insist that people tell you about new information, discoveries, or events as soon as possible. This will help you avoid calling a meeting to work on issues that have been resolved or that have a different scope than you expected. It also protects you from being ambushed by surprises.

3) Inform key participants about new policies, solutions, or programs before the meeting. People resist sudden changes. Thus, give them time to become comfortable with the new issues before the meeting. If necessary, schedule your meeting at a later date to allow people to prepare for new issues.

4) Solicit volunteers before the meeting. People are often reluctant to volunteer for new activities without knowing what their participation entails. Advance information allows the participants to study your requests and to work them into their schedules.

5) If you plan to include a presentation in your meeting, write out the goal for that presentation. Then be sure to tell the speaker about this goal and what you expect from the presentation. Provide supporting information that will help the speaker, such as a description of the audience’s interest or agreement with the topic and key issues to include or avoid.

6) Call those who are scheduled to give a presentation to check their degree of preparation. Ask if they have rehearsed the presentation. Also, remind them about the time allotted for their presentations.

7) If appropriate (or possible), have the presenters preview their presentations with you before the meeting. This provides practice for them and gives you a chance to request changes.

Note: Learn more about Effective Meetings at:

Note: Learn more about Business Presentations at:

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Steve Kaye helps leaders hold effective meetings. He is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator, author, and speaker. His meeting facilitation and leadership workshops create success for everyone. Call 714-528-1300 for details. Visit for a free report.


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