Professionals who are employed at a managerial level will often be required to conduct meetings with their staff, the board of directors or potential clients. It is vital that the meeting is planned in a professional manner and follows a specific structure in order to avoid unproductive meetings. It is the responsibility of the individual who is chairing the meeting to establish an agenda and lead the meeting to obtain the best results. The following are the steps you should follow in order to conduct successful and productive meetings:
- Schedule: when planning a meeting, individuals are required to schedule a date, time and location for the meeting. This might involve booking a location, probably the board room in your office, and ensuring that it is available for the time period you require.
- Invite: once you have scheduled the meeting, it is important to invite the people who the meeting is for. Depending on the type of meeting (whether it is for employees or clients) the necessary arrangements are made to contact everyone and inform them. This can be done through email or a telephone call. It is advised to keep track of who is attending and who is not able to make it in order to ensure that you know who to expect on the day.
- Agenda: before conducting the meeting, you should prepare yourself for the event as you will be chairing it. It is advised to practice your presentation skills, ensuring that you talk clearly and get your point across in a comprehensive and coherent manner. In order to project a professional image, you should also prepare for possible questions and queries.
- Refreshments: if your meeting is likely to run over 2 hours, it is advised to prepare some refreshments for a small break in the middle. This is a good idea as it allows attendees to stretch their legs and have a drink before returning to the meeting agenda with a new perspective and focus.