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10 Tips on How to Prepare for Meeting

10 Tips on How to Prepare for Meeting

Hey there!

Are you tired of those never-ending, go-nowhere meetings? Do you ever feel like you’re just not bringing your best self to the table? 

Well, worry no more! In this article, we will dive into some simple yet effective strategies that will not only save you from the meeting frustration but also boost your confidence and contribution in every discussion. 

I. What is meeting preparation?

Definition: Meeting preparation is the process of organizing the necessary information and logistics for a meeting to ensure it runs smoothly and achieves its desired goals.

This involves identifying the purpose of the meeting, creating an agenda, and organizing the necessary materials or documents needed for the meeting. 

Individuals and teams can ensure that their meetings are efficient, productive, and focused on achieving their goals by preparing for a meeting.

II. Effective tips to prepare for meeting

1. Set purpose and goals

Setting a clear purpose and specific goals for your meeting is like laying down a roadmap—it guides everyone to the destination efficiently. 

Here’s how you can make it friendly and productive:

Define the Purpose: Start by pinpointing the ‘Why’ of your meeting. Ask yourself, why is this gathering necessary? Whether it’s to brainstorm ideas, discuss important topics, or plan future actions, understanding the purpose will help you and your attendees prepare mentally and logistically.

Establish Clear Goals: Next, focus on the ‘What’. What do you hope to achieve by the end of this meeting? Maybe you need to make a crucial decision, come up with a solution, or agree on a project’s next steps. Setting a concrete, achievable goal not only keeps the meeting focused but also gives everyone a clear target to aim for.

By clearly defining these elements, you create a focused and goal-oriented environment. This approach not only sets the right expectations but also directs the flow of the meeting, making it more productive and satisfying for all participants.

2. Create & share an agenda

Now, let’s roll up our sleeves and craft a meeting agenda — this outlines all the key activities and discussion points that will help you achieve your objectives.

While there isn’t a universal template that fits every meeting, here are some friendly tips to help you design an effective agenda, whether it’s for a recurring meeting or a one-time gathering:

For Recurring Meetings

Standard Structure: Keep a consistent format. This helps attendees know what to expect and how to prepare. Include regular items like updates, key metrics, and ongoing project discussions.

Review Action Items: Start with a quick review of the action items from the previous meeting. This keeps everyone accountable and ensures continuity.

Time Management: Assign specific time slots to each agenda item. This keeps the meeting on track and respects everyone’s time.

Defined Roles: Clarify who is responsible for leading each part of the agenda. This helps the meeting flow smoothly and ensures all necessary points are covered.

For One-Time/First-Time Meetings

Objective Clarification: Begin with a clear statement of the meeting’s purpose. This sets the right tone and direction.

Prep Work: Send out any background information beforehand. This ensures everyone comes prepared and can dive right into the substantive discussions.

Flexible Agenda: Allow some leeway for unexpected but valuable discussions. First-time meetings can surface new ideas that you might not have anticipated.

Closure and Feedback: End with a summary of decisions and a feedback session. This helps improve future meetings and ensures that everyone leaves with a clear understanding of the outcomes.

By following these tailored tips, you’ll be able to create a structured yet flexible agenda that facilitates effective and engaging meetings. 

3. Send out meeting invites

Sending out meeting invites well in advance is a great way to ensure that everyone can make it without any last-minute hassles. Here’s how to make your invites friendly and informative:

Timing is Key: Aim to send your invites at least 1 week in advance. This gives your colleagues plenty of time to adjust their schedules and ensures maximum attendance.

Include Essential Details: In the invite, clearly state the purpose of the meeting, the agenda, and any other critical information. Even if you’ve shared these details before, including them in the invite acts as a helpful reminder.

Provide Access Links: If it’s an online or hybrid meeting, include the video conference link directly in the invite. This way, it’s super easy for everyone to join with just a click from their calendars.

💡 Pro Tip: Make your invite stand out by keeping it friendly and personal. A little warmth can turn a standard invite into something that feels welcoming and engaging.

4. Collect questions and ideas from your team

Collecting input from your team before a meeting can make your sessions more productive and inclusive. Here’s how to do it effectively:

Brainstorming & Planning Sessions: Encourage your team to share their ideas ahead of time. Attach a Slido link to your meeting agenda or invite, allowing everyone to submit their thoughts. This approach not only saves time during the meeting but also gives everyone, including those who might be quieter, a chance to voice their ideas comfortably, even anonymously if preferred.

All Company Meetings: Before larger gatherings like all-hands or town halls, open a Slido Q&A to gather questions from your team. This allows your leadership to prepare thoughtful responses and ensures that pressing concerns are addressed during the meeting.

5. Distribute supporting materials

When you have materials that need reviewing before a meeting, it’s super helpful to share them ahead of time. This way, everyone comes in prepared and on the same page, ready to dive deep into the discussion. You can easily attach these documents to your meeting invite or pop them into your internal communications channel.

It’s also a good idea to be clear about what’s essential and what’s optional. Not everyone might need to go through a lengthy 50-slide presentation in detail. Sometimes, just a brief overview is enough to get everyone up to speed. By setting these expectations early, you help your team manage their prep time effectively and focus on what’s truly important.

6. Prepare your slides

This goes without saying but, it’s always a good idea to create engaging and informative slides. The same goes for any other tools or resources – Miro board, Google Docs, etc. However you plan on communicating your message, you will want to have your tool or software of choice ready to go. 

Your slides should be clear and clutter-free but help you explain your points and enhance your discussion points.

7. Set up other tech

Setting up the right tech is key to making sure everyone can participate fully in hybrid and remote meetings. For video conferencing, tools like Zoom, Webex, and Microsoft Teams are your go-to options to keep everyone connected, whether they’re in the office or joining from home.

To ensure everyone can hear and be heard clearly, consider using a good speaker and microphone setup. 

And a quick tip: Set up a dedicated microphone in the room. This way, those joining online won’t miss a beat and can hear everything clearly. This small step can make a big difference in making everyone feel included and engaged!

8. (Optional) Create a pre and post-meeting feedback survey

By incorporating pre-meeting surveys, you can get a sense of what everyone is expecting, adjust the agenda to better suit the group’s needs, and pinpoint any specific topics or concerns that might need a spotlight. It’s like having a map before you start your journey.

Post-meeting surveys are just as crucial. They give you insights into how the meeting went from the attendees’ perspectives.

Did everything go smoothly? Were you a rockstar facilitator? Or maybe there’s something that could be polished a bit more for next time? This feedback is invaluable for continuously improving the meeting experience.

9. Prepare for follow-up action items

It’s a common tale: everyone leaves a meeting buzzing with ideas and good intentions, only to find that, days later, those plans have somehow slipped through the cracks. 

One effective strategy to solve this is to set up a clear structure for capturing action items as they arise during the meeting. This means having a dedicated person or a designated section in your notes specifically for this purpose. It’s all about keeping track of who is doing what and by when.

Additionally, consider wrapping up your meeting with a final slide that summarizes the key points discussed, outlines the action items, and assigns responsibilities. This slide acts as a visual reminder for everyone about the immediate steps to be taken post-meeting.

It’s a simple tool, but it can make a world of difference in ensuring that those great ideas turn into action!

10. Analyze meeting notes

Often, many topics and problems are discussed not only in one meeting but across several. Therefore, it’s essential to analyze the information gathered from these discussions to arrive at a consolidated answer and determine the next steps. There are two ways to do this:

Manual method

Identify the key points you want to extract from the notes, then review each relevant note to summarize them.


Use AI to extract insights for you. It will search through all related notes and provide answers with citations.

Here’s how you can do it with 

III. Conclusion

By setting clear purposes and goals, and organizing a solid agenda, you’re not just planning a meeting—you’re setting the stage for awesome teamwork and impactful decisions.

Remember, the magic is all in the preparation. Define the ‘why‘ and the ‘what‘, share the agenda, and encourage everyone to come ready. This turns potential chaos into productive collaboration, saving time and boosting everyone’s contribution.

Let’s make effective meetings together

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