Planning and Structuring Effective Meeting

Every team leader knows that a successful meeting starts with effective planning and structuring. Gathering people together and declaring the agenda of the day are part of the process but are not the most important. Any productive meeting requires adequate preparations and a well thought out structure, which should serve as the guide. That way, your meeting will run smoothly and effectively. So, how do you plan and structure your meetings effectively? Well, there are several important steps that you have to take. Here are just a few of the most important strides you have to take to ensure your meeting goes on as planned.

Tips for Planning and Structuring Effective Meeting

  • Define and Understand the Purpose of the Meeting

This is self-explanatory; simply start by understanding why you want to hold the meeting. People attend meetings for various reasons including work, school, business, and family matters. Once you understand the purpose of your meeting it will be easy for you to plan and structure a workable program of how it should run. It is important that you notify your invitees the objective of the meeting in advance so that they can prepare for the necessary discussions. You should also inform them about the type of meeting you are inviting them for. This helps in their preparations. Offer advice where necessary, especially if the attendees seem to have problems with a particular issue. Lastly, decide on whether the meeting is the most appropriate way to tackle the issue at hand. Sometimes other forms of communications such as emails and memos are more appropriate than a meeting.

  • Decide on Who Attends the Meeting

In most cases attendees are determined by the type of meeting you wish to hold. If it is work related, you should consider inviting members of staff or their representatives. In large organizations where staff members are required to send representatives, it is important to ensure that everyone is well informed on the implications of such representations, and if possible, they should be the ones to choose their representatives. Ensure that the people involved in the meeting are well aware of the agenda to be discussed.

  • Make the Necessary Preparations

For you to realize the intend goal of the meeting, all participants have to be aware of the purpose of the meeting beforehand. Therefore, you should ensure that the agenda is circulated to all attendees at least a week before the meeting. In the circular, you should include essential details such as the date, time and venue of the meeting. You should also indicate the topics to be deliberated on and the people to introduce them. This will prevent any confusion that may occur in the course of the meeting. Attach any necessary documents that may be required by participants. Attendees are also entitled to know beforehand the time the meeting is expected to end. This will help them to plan their day and make the necessary adjustments so that they programs do not get interrupted.

  • Have All Necessary Supplies Ready

Depending on the type of meeting you are planning to hold, you are going to need an assortment of supplies including notebooks, chalkboard, PowerPoint, Microphones, speakers, computers, tables and chairs. At times, you will be required to provide your invitees with refreshments such as beverages, water and snacks. All these supplies should be ready before the start of the meeting to avoid interruptions. Also, you are going to require a proper plan on how the meeting should run. Every participant should know when they are supposed to speak and the areas they should tackle. This should guarantee you an effective meeting.  


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