Meetings are part of people’s daily business activities, which causes them to forget the essence and importance of these get togethers. Of course some meetings are less important than others but lack of encouragement during these less important meetings can in the end affect the important ones. Think about the time when you were trying to close that one ‘BIG’ deal with clients. In such an event, a meeting will have a huge influence on the decision making process. I can speak from my own experience that some meetings are so stressful, it feels like you’re doing some kind of event management all by yourself. True preparation includes finding the correct meeting room in KL to thinking about possible questions from the other party.
Improve your intro and the close
Starting with a strong intro during your presentation will give you more confidence throughout the whole meeting so don’t underestimate this point. Give a proper introduction and point out what you want to discuss. This is not only professional but also shows your ability to work structured. End your presentation by repeating the most important points and give your advice or conclusion.
Determine your purpose
Before entering any meeting it should be crystal clear what your purpose is. Know beforehand which result you want to accomplish so you can work towards this. Furthermore, stick with just three talking points. Don’t start talking about all your ideas rather focus on the main points. This way you keep it to-the-point, which helps people to keep focussed.
After the meeting
Unfortunately most people think their job is done when the meeting ends. Nothing is more true, it actually just begins here. Don’t forget that many clients have a number of meetings afterwards to discuss what they heard, review their point of view and discuss their decision. Follow up with the key attendees and subtly reinforce your points.
Call to action
Make sure all the attendees know what is expected from them before leaving the meeting. It wouldn’t be the first time that people shake hands and nobody knows what the next step is going to be.
Conclusion is that you need to be prepared for important meetings. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a job interview, meeting with important clients to close a big deal or have to justify the annual results to the shareholders. When you don’t prepare for a meeting, you automatically let the other party control it. Step up your game, control the meeting and force things to go your way.