Going To A Meeting

The organisation may hold many different meetings. As a Supervisor or a Manager you may be required to represent your team, and expected to feedback what you have discussed at the meeting.  In this blog and future blogs I will give guidelines and useful hints on how to participate
and hold a successful meeting. The three “P’s” are vital.

  • Preparation
  • Participation
  • Positive Attitude

This not only supports you but the rest of the team in the meeting.

You may be asked to attend a meeting at short notice (perhaps in someone’s

If this happens try to be as organised as possible – ask to read the last minutes – this will give you an idea on what may be discussed at the meeting.  Remember to take a notebook and pen to take notes – you may need to feed back to staff some issues from the meeting and may need to be done before the minutes are typed and distributed.

For every meeting there should always be:

  •  An Agenda
  • A Chairperson
  • A person taking minutes
  • Minutes to follow every meeting.
  • A task sheet (this can be used as a quick guide on outstanding tasks)

Do your homework first, know where the meeting is being held. The time the meeting is being held at and who to contact should the need arise.

Do not assume that the meeting with be in the same place it usually is – meeting can often change venues, days and times.

Always arrive for a meeting in plenty of time. If you have to travel to the venue allow time for traffic and parking.

Always try to participate in the meeting – you will get far more out of it. Bring along issues that concern your team.

Have a positive attitude. In doing so this will flow through your team – if you come back from a meeting with a negative attitude then this will cause unnecessary negativity throughout your team.


The Meeting Venue

If you are holding a meeting it is important to have the right conditions. Having the right (or wrong) conditions could have a big impact on the meeting.


If the venue is not at your place of work you need to ensure that you inform everyone isd aware of all the details.

  • That people attending the meeting are aware of the venue.
  • Aware of the date and time of the meeting. do not assume that people will know.
  •  You should give them clear instructions on how to get there
  •  Advise them if there will be a fee for car parking
  •  Advise them if lunch/evening meal will be supplied
  •  Advise them the time of the meeting – when it starts and finishes and if all day
    what time the lunch break will be at.


  • Always make sure that the room is big enough to hold all everyone attending the
  •  If there are only a few people attending the meeting you should opt for a
    smaller more intimate room – a few people in a big room can be sometimes
  • Always have a table for people to sit around – there is nothing worse than people having to write notes on their laps.
  •  Is the table big enough to sit everyone?
  •  Are there enough chairs to sit everyone?
  •  Can everyone see the Chairperson from where they are sitting?
  •  Can everyone see the flip chart/screen from where they are sitting?
  •  Is the ventilation good? If there are a lot of people in the room ventilation is very important – can you open the windows, or is there air conditioning available?  If there is air conditioning make sure you know how to operate it.
  •  Know where the emergency exists are – and inform everyone at the START of the meeting.


  • You will need to supply paper and pens for everyone. Don’t relay on them bringing their own stationery.
  •  An agenda (even if you have sent an agenda out beforehand – people will forget and then start asking for a copy – be prepared have extra copies available.)
  •   Flip Charts / overhead projectors / computer connections. Always make sure when booking the meeting room that these will be available.


  • A meeting that lasts about 2 –3 hours does not need to have a break.
  •  A meeting that lasts up to 4 hours should have a 15 – 20 minute coffee/tea break.
  •  A meeting that is all day should have a coffee break morning and afternoon and a
    lunch break in the middle of the day.
  •  It is a good idea no matter how long or short the meeting to have a supply of
    water on the tables and perhaps some mints or fruit sweets. This helps keep people rehydrated   and keeps them alert.
  •  If you are having your meeting in a hotel or a meeting venue check with them
    before the meeting to see if coffee/tea is included, if not you may have to make a separate order for this.
  •  If you are responsible for booking the meeting always ensure that you arrive early to check that everything is available that you require. You should have
    everything in order ready to start approximately 10 minutes before the meeting.
    This will give you a few spare minutes to take a deep breath before the meeting

Being well prepared for a meeting will get it off to a good start go smoothly and therefore run to schedule.