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How to Plan a Meeting?

We all know the importance of preparing well for a crucial meeting in the office. The better you work before walking into that conference room, the more efficient and productive will be the meeting. Every meeting needs to have a checklist that needs to ticked off in order to execute it well.

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To ensure that you are not wasting the time of your team members, you need to follow certain principles that will help you cover all your bases.

Planning a Meeting Agenda

As people attend meetings for work, personal interests and leisure activities, the meeting agenda needs to adjust well to the nature and requirement of the organisation.

As we know, you cannot skip holding and executing a meeting in a professional or personal setup, therefore, we have come up with six steps to help you make the meeting more organised and effective.

Step 1: Decide If You Need to Meet

There are a lot of time when meetings are scheduled unnecessarily, therefore, you need to have a strategic plan in your head before you block a time and date. First, decide how you will break up the meetings and tasks so that plan is created efficiently. Make sure the meeting is result oriented.

Step 2: Determine The People Who Need to Attend

After deciding the purpose of the meeting, decide the people who need to be present at the meeting. The ease of people attending the meeting greatly depends on their availability. Get an estimate of how big the meeting will be so you can find an appropriate space later.

Step 3: Mention The Time

A defined time frame is one of the important factors in a meeting agenda. Make sure you estimate the time you would need to wind up the meeting. Try and not assume the limit and confirm the schedule with the attendee’s calendar.

Step 4: Determine The Type of Meeting

If the meeting is for developing a strategic plan, then it needs to be a brainstorming meeting. For brainstorming, you will need a whiteboard to jot down ideas. This will keep the meeting moving in the right direction without any misses. Try and find a board room to set the right mood. 

Step 5: Choose the Medium of Communication and Ways of Documentation

In today’s world, one has offices and team members in various parts of the country, therefore, all would not be able to join in person. You will need to decide the communication tool that works best in this meeting. Try and review these questions before you decide the meeting.

  • Will you be showing slides?
  • Will you be brainstorming?
  • How are you planning to share the notes from the meeting?

The answers to the above-listed questions will give you a clear idea on how to plan a meeting.

Step 6: Be Prepared for Changes

Even if you have prepared everything well in advance, you need to have a second and third meeting slot and venue ready and planned if there are any sudden changes or delays in the meeting.

The Roles Need to Be Assigned to Participants In a Meeting

Irrespective of its purpose, each and every meeting needs to have the participants play a specific role for the good execution of the meeting. You can consider the following roles for the meeting.

Facilitator: A facilitator guides the discussion, making sure all sides of the issue are raised. This role is perfect for the person with strong developing and leadership skills.

Scribe: A scribe captures the key ideas and decisions and also distributes the notes to the members in the meeting.

Timekeeper: The timekeeper helps to move the discussion efficiently.

Contributor: The contributor keeps the discussion upbeat and right on track with the target assignment on hand.  

Expert: An expert shares knowledge on certain issues. You can simply ask the expert to attend the meeting, to keep the contribution focused.

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