There are many reasons why a meeting is summoned. It can be a brainstorming meeting where attendees are expected to share ideas and proposals which later have to be decided. It can be a weekly or monthly communication meeting. Whatever the purpose of the meeting, it is important to be prepared. The least you want to happen is to look ignorant of the matter being discussed and to be caught up unprepared for subjects that you must ideally know.
Oftentimes meetings are organized by the secretary or the assistant to whoever will preside the meeting. Meeting invitations are generally sent at least one week before the meeting will take place. If it is a short lead time, then just make your best to be ready.
1. One of the most important documents in the meeting is the agenda. Make sure you have a copy of the agenda. If it is not sent, you may ask the meeting organizer for the possible topics that will be discussed in the meeting.
2. The agenda will always give you the hint of the documents you need to prepare for the meeting. Make sure that you take these documents in the meeting and bring copies for the rest of the attendees and few extra copies because sometimes there are unexpected attendees in the meeting.
3. Think out of the box. Think other related topics or information that will probably be discussed in the meeting. For instance, the meeting is about next year’s budget. Take initiative to source out related information (which is not explicitly mentioned in the agenda) such as competitors’ proposed budget for next year, list of events that will likely affect the business trend, and so on. If your boss will ask on the spot about competitors, you will definitely have something to say. This can be a great way to impress your boss too.
4. If it is not a first meeting, secure a copy of the previous minutes of the meeting. Go through it and highlight if there is any subject that concerns you or your department and note the progress or feedbacks. This will prepare you if ever someone will ask about it.
5. Keep all these documents in one folder and you can label it under your name. Then keep the other documents for distribution in another folder. The least thing you want to happen during the meeting is to misplace your notes.
6. Pens and notepad should always come handy to you.
7. Be in the meeting venue at least five minutes before the meeting. This will give you time to socialize with the other attendees and to feel comfortable in the venue.