From investor meetings to a team collaboration session, there are some meetings that have a lot riding on them. Maybe you need to convince investors to fund a project, or maybe you need to make a critical contract decision with your team. Whatever it is, it’s not a good idea to leave such meetings to chance, and taking the time to prepare means a better chance of communicating more effectively, staying on track, and achieving your objections.
So here are 3 ways to prepare for an important meeting.
Research and Gather Pertinent Information
Researching and gathering pertinent information is essential for an important meeting because having the right information can mean the difference between success and failure. For example, say you’re trying to persuade an investor to fund an oil and gas metering project. Having information about things like the values, motivations, and hobbies of the investor likely means being able to connect with and ultimately persuade them.
When researching, you want to:
- Identify key individuals and look for common interests or areas of expertise that may come in handy
- Take advantage of online resources – company websites, social media, news articles – to gather reliable information
- Talk to any colleagues with experience dealing with similar meeting agendas or even attendees
- Review any past meeting notes to go over relevant information
Prepare an Agenda
Meetings can get off track because of different reasons. Sometimes the reason for this is uncontrollable like an urgent interruption. However, sometimes, it’s because of a lack of structure so it’s important to prepare a meeting agenda.
Here are some tips for preparing a meeting agenda:
- Identify the main objectives of the meeting
- Create specific topics based on the purpose of the meeting
- Assign specific time frames. Be realistic by factoring in time for discussion, questions, and breaks
- List or attach any necessary materials or documents to be presented or reviewed at the meeting
It’s a good idea to share your agenda beforehand if you have a team, as others may catch mistakes or at least also be better prepared
Pick Appropriate Clothing
The way you dress can have a significant impact on the tone, credibility, and even productivity of a meeting. For example, wearing uncomfortable clothes can throw you off and cause you to forget important talking points, making the entire meeting unproductive.
To dress appropriately for an important meeting:
- Find out the dress code for the meeting or company culture
- Wear clean, presses clothing
- Opt for conservative colors like black, grey, and navy
- Pay attention to details like shoes, accessories, and your grooming
- Make sure your clothes fit well and allow you to move easily
If you have an important meeting to attend, it’s prudent to prepare for it. Researching pertinent information, drafting a detailed meeting agenda, and picking out the right clothes to wear is a good place to start.