Be Prepared For Your Next Meeting

It doesn’t matter if you are a sales person or a warehouse manager, we all go to meetings.  Some of us go to multiple meetings a day while others may attend a single meeting a week or month.  All meetings may be different, however, they have a few similarities when it comes to being prepared.

The first step is to determine if this is a paper meeting or a paperless meeting.  In the new world of “going green” you will find that paperless meetings become the accepted norm.  However, I have yet to attend a paperless meeting without seeing at least one piece of paper floating around and a few scattered pens and pencils.  To start, let’s assume your meeting is a traditional paper meeting.  You will want to have a nice Padfolio or Organizer that you keep all your documents and note pages in.

If you are the one hosting the meeting, make plenty of copies of all the documents you plan on going over.  The better solution would be to email PDF copies of these documents to all meeting attendees prior to the meeting so they can familiarize themselves with the content.  Electronic documents also give them the option of printing each page out or keeping it electronically.  If you are printing copies, do so ahead of time so the flow of the meeting does not get interrupted by the famous statement: “I don’t think I have a copy of that.”

Having a little more of a high tech meeting?  Be sure to download all attachments to your laptop or iPad prior to leaving your office.  You already have your device powered on and connected to the network, take advantage of that.  Technology has a way of sometimes letting us down when we need it the most.  The meeting location may not have internet access, or you might not have a good wireless signal.  If you can’t access your email server, those important documents that were sent to you are useless right now because you can not open them up.  Get prepared before you step out the door, or out of your cube/office and you will do just fine.

Now for the most important piece…a calendar!  A majority of meetings generally involve scheduling a followup meeting or they relate to an event that occurs on a specific date.  It doesn’t matter if you have a full size paper calendar, pocket calendar, BlackBerry or iPhone…just make sure you bring a calendar with you.  This should go without saying, but also ensure this calendar is up to date with all your professional and personal appointments.  Keeping one master calendar helps prevent scheduling conflicts or missing out on a personal appointment.

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