7 Tips for Productive Meetings
1. Know your allies – who is responsible for you being there? Who has asked you to speak, and why? Who has your back and wants you to succeed? Ask for their help to prepare ahead of time.
2. Plan and practice – rehearse with trusted people. DO NOT wing it. Have a plan, know where you want to take them, what you want them to do, rehearse again and again. Use your team, friends, colleagues, with insights on how it’s going to go during the live presentation.
3. “Net it Out” – begin with topline message or summary to set expectations early out; let them know upfront how there time will be spent. Do not surprise anyone with conclusions, start with them + brief verbal agenda, subject XYZ and allude to conclusion, state case and ask, and refer back to it throughout.
4. Use simple visuals: handout or slides, nothing overly complicated.
5. Be ready with details. Don’t go into them unless you are asked. Ensure you are prepared because others may have comments or want to know more.
6. Have your ask ready; know also that if there is going to be a negotiation involved, be ready with information on options, make a recommendation if there is one, and educate them on big picture.
7. Leave time for Q&A; don’t go over time; if you’re allowed 5 mins, leave 2 for questions. Same incrementally across longer presentations.