Meetings are a common part of most any business these days. They are important for keeping things organized, creating and discussing objectives, and ensuring that everyone is up-to-date on new developments both inside and outside the organization.
That said, not everyone running or attending meetings takes them as seriously as they should. Business meetings should not be off the cuff; you definitely need to prepare beforehand in order to maximize the time and get all of the agenda covered effectively.
Here are some tips on how to accomplish this:
Maximize Your Prep
Bottom line: do your homework! Know the agenda, know your part in the agenda, and be prepared to speak authoritatively on this subject. You will also need to answer any questions that might come up.
The agenda should lay out the amount of time you have for your presentation and questions, but don’t let a 15-minute time slot lead you to believe that not much preparation is needed. There is no way to know for sure just what questions could be asked of you.
By the same token: be succinct and don’t run over your allotted time so that the whole meeting stays on track. Rambling on and on, and not being focused will result in people not paying attention, thus defeating the whole point of your presentation.
Pay Attention to Others
Just because you are finished is not a reason for you to doze off during the rest of the meeting. Chances are the other presentations will be relevant to your role and responsibilities as well. Take detailed notes and ask any questions you might have.
Follow-Up on Points Raised
Many meetings result in action plans being created. Make sure to do your part in them going forward and follow-up with other team members when necessary.