RCC Meets Prepared
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” –Anatole France Meetings often tend to occupy a large amount of a company workday, and yet, many employees can often leave a meeting feeling as though it was a waste of time. How does one ensure that a meeting is executed efficiently and effectively? How can the leader of the meeting feel confident that everyone will feel motivated and energized to accomplish goals following the meeting, rather than leaving them twiddling their thumbs in confusion or boredom?
A successful meeting can be used to accomplish different agendas, and the meeting process should start well before everyone has gathered in the conference room. With many moving parts involved in a meeting, it is essential that every person in the gathering is living up to the responsibilities of their role. After all, who wants to leave a professional meeting situation having gained no progress?
At Richardson Communications and Consulting, Inc., (RCC) we find it vital to not only meet the needs of our clients, but to first really understand their company values. Showing respect for a prospective client and their values before meeting in person is something that RCC believes to be necessary and accommodating. Before a meeting is set, we take the time to really understand our client through researching their company’s collection of online profiles. We want to have the most information possible about a prospective client before greeting them in a first meeting. Additionally, while it is vital to understand and be respectful of the organization itself, it is also incredibly valuable to research the background of those who will be attending the meeting. We place worth in knowing whom we are talking to, and forming a lasting relationship with them.
RCC believes that the organizer of the meeting should prepare for the coming interaction by confirming a meeting location, while remaining mindful of space specifications for all parties involved, setting an agenda for the attendants to follow, and spending time coaching the presentation team involved in the meeting.
Making an objective clear is a key facet in facilitating a successful meeting – a meeting must have a specific and designed purpose. At the beginning of a meeting with prospective clients, RCC believes in asking the decision-maker what they believe will make for an effective meeting, and how to efficiently use the allotted time frame. This is essential because it allows us at RCC to strive to meet those goals by the end of the meeting time. RCC believes in keeping track of time and maintaining commitments from start to finish of the presentation, and this is easier to execute when the preparation begins before the meeting takes place.
Some additional essential items to keep in mind when presenting to prospective clients should be:
- Ensure that all communication and presentation tools are working as intended, and that the entire presentation team has a deep understanding of how to use each tool for its intended use
- The real Golden Rule: Listen 80% of the time, and speak 20% of the time
- Designate a note-taker to create a list of action items for each member of the meeting to accomplish to shoot out in an email later
- Prepare appropriate visuals to assist clients in understanding as needed
It is important to close each meeting ensuring that the goals set at the beginning were met, and done so in the best way according to the client. It’s very common for people leave the same meeting with different interpretations of what occurred and what they took away. To reduce the uncertainty or confusion, RCC believes it to be respectful and efficient to send a copy of the notes taken at the meeting to everyone involved within a 24-hour time frame in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Remember; never leave a meeting without being sure of, and scheduling, the next steps!