If you’ve ever had to run a meeting, you know a few things to be true. One, meetings are going to happen – they’re necessary. Two, it’s your job to prepare for, execute, and follow-up on the meeting. Three, you’re probably facing an uphill battle. Meetings don’t have the best reputation and it’s likely that your co-workers are not relishing the idea of “one more meeting.”

In his hilarious (and very true) TED Talk called How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings David Grady takes a serious look at some of the common offenders that give meetings their negative stigma:

  • A moderator who has no idea how to run the meeting
  • Participants who have no idea why they are there
  • Complications with conference calls
  • Lack of direction in a meeting
  • MAS – Mindless Accept Syndrome (participants blindly accept meeting requests without enough information about the meeting)

His video caught on quickly. Viewers from all over the world were excited to commiserate about their own hatred for meetings. Comments began filling up Grady’s feed with the same familiar message:

It’s [the video] funny because it’s true. Eerily, sadly, depressingly true. It made me laugh until I cried. And cried. And I cried some more.

My daily life until retirement or death *sigh*

In Grady’s TED Talk, he explains how individuals can avoid meetings that might not be relevant to them saving the most valuable commodity – time. As a meeting leader, you can prevent the need for attendee intervention. All you need to do is prepare like a facilitator.


How to Prepare for your Meeting Like a Professional Facilitator

A professional facilitator goes through the 6 Ps of a successful meeting. Not all of these questions will apply to every meeting or situation, but it is important to go through each. When a question does apply, be sure to answer the question fully even before you set your meeting goal and create you agenda.

6 P’s of a Successful Meeting:

  1. Purpose– Why are we holding this session?
  2. Product– What do we want to have when we are done? What is the goal of the meeting?
  3. Process– How will we go about achieving the purpose and product?
  4. Participants– Who will be attending the session?
  5. Probable Issues– What are the potential problems or issues that may surface?
  6. Place– Where will the session be held? What do I need in the room for the meeting to be successful?

The answers you uncover after completing the 6 P’s exercise will help you to clarify your goal and objectives for the meeting. The answers will help you create an effective agenda or outline for the meeting to reach your goal more easily. Each scenario and set of answers may be unique, but the answers are consistently important.

Something to remember when answering the 6 P’s is to answer these questions in order. Purpose needs to always precede process. The questions are ordered to help you discover your meeting’s purpose and better understand how to communicate it to attendees. In other words, begin by defining the “why” of the session – the main reason that the team has gathered.

Once the purpose is defined and a process is outlined, then the team can consider product (what you want from the meeting), participants, potential issues and place. By approaching your next meeting in this order and process you are going back to Grady’s main point from the TED Talk. You will help save the attendees’ time by being more efficient across all aspects of the meeting.

If this still seems a bit overwhelming, or you are still getting negative results, contact us, chat us, or call us at 1-877-212-2361.