What’s the least amount of prep needed for a meeting?

Rushing from task to task means you’ve not often got enough time to get ready for a meeting. But how little prep can you get away with and still have a productive meeting?

Meetings, when planned properly, can be highly useful and productive experiences.

Sadly, in this rushed world we often don’t get the luxury of planning as much as we’d like. Sometimes, we can be called into a meeting at a moment’s notice.

Man Stood Next to a Clock

But can you really get anything from a meeting without any prep? We take a closer look.

No planning

If you are called into a meeting and you have no idea what’s on the agenda, getting anything from it can be difficult. But it’s not impossible.

Whoever has called you in will realise that you haven’t had time to prepare so ask them to give you a quick rundown of what the topic is.

Once you’re up to speed, then you’ll start to feel a little better and maybe can give some feedback or ideas. If not, say so. You can’t be expected to produce answers instantly on some topics, so let them know you’ll go away and work on it and get back to them.

1 hour

If you’re given an hour or so to plan, there’s plenty you can do. Make sure to find out what the main topic will be and what the big question is that needs answering. Focus your preparation – don’t try and do everything as you won’t have time.

But it’s still worth getting together any information you have on the subject along with any back up material.

Man with Drawings Representing Time Around him

A day

This should be plenty of time to plan for a meeting. While not ideal (really, a few days’ notice is preferable as you never know what else is going to happen at work), you should still have plenty of time to get prepared.

Put an hour aside in your day to make a list of all the things that are being covered and how you can contribute. If there are topics being discussed that you can’t offer any help on, then don’t worry about them.

With a day’s notice you should have time to fire off a few questions to the meeting organiser to clarify any issues, find out a bit more about the meeting and find out who else is attending.

While it’s nice to be asked, if there’s someone in the meeting from your team that can offer everything you can, it might be better to bow out and spend your time more wisely.


Posted by Ashleigh Sharp

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