Meeting Checklist: 10 Things to Do Ahead of Time

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group in meeting
Image by: PolandMFA
By Jessie Marc

If you spend the night before a big meeting running over every last detail in your head and agonize over anything that could possibly go wrong, here is my personal checklist for making sure things go exactly how I want them to.

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This means that I can walk in confident and ready to get down to business. And ladies, it’s really the confidence that makes or breaks the meeting: be prepared and you’ll knock ‘em off their feet!

#1) Have a Clear Goal for Your Meeting

There’s no point in having a meeting in the first place if you don’t have a clear goal established. Take some time ahead of time to define the outcome you’d like to get from this meeting, and also write down a few variations of what could happen – this allows you to approach the entire thing very objectively no matter how it goes.

#2) Write a Solid Outline

Ladies, even if it’s a casual meeting, you can control the direction it takes by writing an outline of what needs to be discussed and bringing a copy for each attendee. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but a basic outline of your gameplan will help avoid rabbit trails in the conversation and lead to a more productive outcome.

#3) Identify Your Worst Case Scenario & Develop a Contingency Plan

What is the worst thing that can happen in this meeting? In case things start going in that direction, have a few alternate suggestions prepared.

#4) Research Your Audience!

If there is going to be someone in the meeting you’ve never met, take the time to find out a little bit about them. Look on LinkedIn, talk to a colleague or ask a mutual friend for some basics.

If you do your homework on the people you’ll be meeting with, you can approach them on their level and have a better understanding of where they’re coming from.

#5) Check Your Schedule & Find a Date for a Follow-Up Meeting

Even if it seems like you’ll only need to have one meeting, figure out when a good time to have a follow up would be. It’s easiest to get people to commit to plans in person, so if it starts to seem like a second meeting might be appropriate, you’ll already have a date and time to suggest.

#6) Pick Out Your Outfit!

I really like to pick out my outfits ahead of time. It guarantees that you won’t be scrambling trying to find your shoes or showing up inappropriately dressed because you forgot to do laundry.

#7) Put Gas in the Car the Day Before

Realizing I’m on fumes on my way to an important meeting has got to be the worst feeling in the world. Gassing up ahead of time means you’re less likely to be late, and less likely to show up smelling like fuel.

#8) Eat a Decent Breakfast

Trying to think on an empty stomach is tough. Don’t get stuck with brain fog when you’re trying to make important decisions or impress a potential client.

#9) Bring Extra Pens & A Notebook : Use them!

This was a hard-learned lesson for me. Getting to a meeting without something to write with and on just looks unprofessional – having to email everyone later and ask what you talked about it worse.

#10) Walk in With a Smile

Confidence is key, and a gorgeous, smiling woman is hard to say no to! By setting a positive, approachable tone, you’ll have everyone ready to dive in and start talking.

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