6 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Before Every Meeting (A Checklist)
Save yourself from embarrassment before you walk into a meeting with these 6 questions that will improve the performance of any planned meeting.
Do you really need a meeting?
Before even planning the big meeting, make sure the topics you have are urgent and need insight from everyone on the team. If the topics can be handled directly or cleared up with a few emails then is it absolutely necessary to call an entire team meeting and disrupt the workflow? Define the purpose of the meeting and make sure it is relevant to all the members who attend the meeting.
Do you have a written agenda?
Very often when discussing a topic, you will forget the other urgent topics that also require attention. In cases like this, written agendas become very useful. Always ensure that your agenda is written down so you can refer to it whenever needed in the meeting, to keep you on track. It also makes it more convenient for your colleagues as they can expect and prepare for each of the topics.
Did you check the availability of the meeting venue?
The most embarrassing thing that can happen to you is showing up with your team or meeting participants, to find that the room is unavailable or being used by someone else. To avoid this make sure you reserve the room beforehand and specify the exact time that you will be using the room. Never ever leave venue planning to the last moment; book the venue for a small meeting at least 3 days before to give your participants time to clear up their work schedule and for a big meeting book the venue 2-3 weeks in advance or even earlier if possible.
Have you prepared all required materials and/or equipment?
If your meeting has pre-reading materials that need to be read through in detail, make sure you send them all out beforehand to prepare all meeting participants. This way more time is saved and all meeting participants will be able to follow what you’re presenting at the meeting. Additionally, preparing handouts, a powerpoint presentation and technical equipment (powerpoints, speakers…), can create a more professional perception and increase audience engagement.
Have you assigned roles to participants?
To increase the efficiency of a meeting, it is advised that you assign roles to participants to help move along the meeting. The roles should include a facilitator who guides the discussion, a timekeeper, a scribe and the rest can assume the role of contributors. In some meetings, other roles might also be assumed for instance an expert who gives insight into a particular issue. By assigning roles the meeting will be able to move along smoothly and participants will understand what is expected of them.
Have you considered a coffee break?
It is vital to slip a coffee break in between long meeting sessions to boost productivity and efficiency. It leaves your participants feeling refreshed and also increases attention span. Not only does it lead to a more attentive audience as well, but it also makes a great impression on them to show that you took into consideration their needs and prioritised them too. If you have key stakeholders with high status, this could be a great way to impress and show respect to them.
These 6 questions should be on every single person’s meeting checklist and will show that you are an organised, structured and thoughtful individual. We wish you the best of luck with your meeting!