Checklist to planning your next meeting (and nail it)
Preparing for an important meeting might be overwhelming sometimes, because we all know that the more we prepare, foresee and curate towards the meeting the better it will go.
But essentially for that same reason, we have so many things in our mind, we might skip an important one that could change the result of our meeting.
So first and more important we strongly suggest you to always prepare a checklist first before you even start preparing.
You can either have a classic simple list or you can go as pro as you want with tools like Trello, that allows you to get visually organized and get together all the information you need under every entry of your checklist.
Regardless how you choose to do it, here are the most important things you should have always pinned on your list right at the start.
Make sure you actually need a meeting
All of our calendars are full of meetings and it is terribly frustrating when you sit on one and realize you didn’t even need a meeting to solve that particular problem. Revisit the situation and to guarantee that everyone assisting will feel like it was a productive and useful one.
Define the purpose of the meeting and the people that actually need to attend
Once you know you need a meeting, define clearly what is it for and what are the issues to be discussed.
Also don’t forget to choose strictly the people that will have a role in the discussion and that needs to be directly informed on the issues discussed.
Agree on a date and a place to hold the meeting
Once you inform the people attending the meeting about it, set the calendar and choose a date and a time that works for everyone. It would be on you to define the length of the meeting so everyone can get organized.
Also make sure to define the place and through what platform would the remote members will be joining. Once that is clear, make sure everybody has everybody’s information. Finally, confirm the availability of the place for the meeting if needed.
Send a preliminary agenda to the people attending
It is always a good idea to send first a preliminary agenda and give everyone the option to add or cross any other topics that might be needed to be addressed during the meeting.
Nevertheless, keep it concise and controlled so it doesn’t become a huge pot where everyone brings in all their doubts and comments on every possible matter.
Send a final agenda and enclose any documents that everyone might need to either prepare for the meeting or simply follow up
The worst thing that can happen is that in the middle of your presentation you mention something and someone says that they were not aware at all of that information or that your data is not updated.
Check what you are going to share and also send any information that might help everyone to understand the need of the meeting and follow up, so they have time to study it and make the meeting as productive as possible.
Prepare your presentation and materials and test the gear and the media that you are going to use
Don’t leave for the last minute checking if your computer is compatible with the projector or if it is reading your USB or if the Wifi is working. Have a back up and always bring a physical copy for yourself of your presentation material.
Have everyone ready ahead before they get there to make sure that you have time to check everything and distress about possible complications.