Category Archives: Before the Meeting

Help Meeting Participants Prepare

One of the most common complaints I receive about meetings is that attendees come unprepared.  A lot of time is then wasted getting them up to speed.  Here are some ways to address this challenge:

  • Make sure the purpose of the meeting is clear and communicated ahead of time.
  • Consider having a sub-group meet ahead of time to identify what needs to be done to prepare and perhaps distribute responsibility for doing it.
  • Give someone responsibility to take time at the beginning of the meeting to brief the group on the task, the background, and what the desired outcome is.
  • Contact key people ahead of the meeting to be sure they have done the reading or preparation required to get value from the meeting.

Take these steps and you can make a big impact in helping your meeting participants be prepared.

Meeting Room Arrangement

Does your meeting room help or hinder your meeting?

When you are arranging a meeting, give thought to what size room is necessary for the full group.  Also, how should the furniture be arranged to support the meeting topic and set the tone you desire?  Is a boardroom style better than a U-shape arrangement?  Would a casual, living room-style setup be more appropriate?

Make sure the chairs are comfortable if you’re asking people to stay for more than an hour.

Also, decide if the meeting is best held on-site or off-site.  Off-site locations tend to be best for creative problem solving or brainstorming because the new environment and fewer interruptions enhance focus and creative thinking.