3 Keys to Running a Successful Meeting

The Careereon Blogging Team
September 21, 2022


1. Know Your Material

  • You either called the meeting, or as the expert or project lead, it is your show. Nothing will derail a meeting, and damage a reputation, more quickly than the presenter who is reading verbatim from papers as though it is the first time seeing the information being shared. There are times when you simply are next up in the rotation, or charged with a weekly readout of business updates to your own team, sometimes to superiors. In either case, it is critical to spend the time to know what you will talk about, research each item on the agenda so you not only speak to it freely and comfortably, but so you are ready for any follow-up questions.
  • Leaders are always on display whether we like or not, and these moments can either raise or sink our stock if we don’t take the time necessary to know what we are talking about.

2. Know Your Audience

  • Knowing the makeup of the audience is key, whether they are peers, subordinates, superiors, executives, VIP customers, etc. You would never be less diligent and prepared for subordinates versus executives for example, but you would be wise to jot down questions you may field from the different groups. Executives would likely have different thoughts and questions than your subordinates, and certain different than your customers.
  • Knowing what you will talk about, who you will be talking to, and doing the prep work to field questions that you think may come up will paint you in a positive light and pay dividends for you in your career.

3. Set The Agenda

Whether presenting to entry level employees or to senior management, for the duration of any meeting you lead, the room, the materials, the lights, video, audio, etc is all part of what people are there to see – Your Show. Start by outlining exactly what people should expect through each segment of the meeting. A simple agenda for an hour-long meeting may include:

  • Welcome                             5 Minutes
  • Bustiness Updates           15 Minutes
  • HR Debrief                          5 Minutes
  • Sales Incentive                  10 Minutes
  • Customer Feedback        15 Minutes
  • Q&A                                      10 Minutes

It need not be fancy, but an agenda should be clear, have estimated times for each segment, and puts your attendees at ease, knowing they will be out on time and onto the next item on their schedule. It also helps to keep your meeting on track and to each respective time slot when your audience knows they will be given time at the end for any follow-up questions. It is both professional and courteous, and immediately gives your audience the confidence that they are in the presence of a professional…a Leader!


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