1. Create an Agenda
There’s a reason you scheduled the meeting, right? Maybe you need to realign the client on SEO strategy or you’d like to review design changes with your creative team. Whatever the reason for the meeting, help your colleagues feel ready and empowered by preparing a basic agenda when you send out the invite.
Include items you want to review, add in discussion points, and ask questions you or the team is still waiting for clarity on. Send the agenda to the team and ask them to provide you with additional items they want to cover before the meeting.
2. Arrive on Time
Be respectful of your client and team’s time. If you know you’ll be late, inform a trusted teammate and ask them to lead the call until you can join. Try not to make arriving late and asking a colleague to cover for you a habit, though. This is for only emergency situations.
The worst thing you can do is blindside your colleague. Instead, be prepared and be on time! This way, you’re also setting expectations for your team and clients to follow.
3. Stay on Target
An agenda can help you lead an organized call, but people have a natural tendency to switch topics or dive deeper into other issues. When this happens, don’t be afraid to speak up to get the call back on track.
If a serious issue is developing from a side conversation, you might need to schedule an additional meeting to focus on that topic. Individuals on the call that don’t need to participate in that discussion will be grateful to you for respecting their time, as well.
4. Take Notes
This step is incredibly important and is often overlooked in both internal and client-facing meetings. You can either take notes yourself or designate a team member to do so during the call.
A smart trick is to take notes on the agenda document. This will help you fill in the relevant information under each corresponding topic.
If you decide to share your screen you can also take notes right where everyone can see them. This is a good trick to ensure everyone is paying close attention. It’s also an effective way to chronicle the discussion for future review.
5. End on Time
If you realize your meeting needs to be longer, request a different meeting time and schedule it during the call. Sure, you can ask everyone if they can stay on, but that can create tension within the group. Especially if certain team members are unable to stay on the call due to other obligations. They may feel guilty for having to leave or being left out of an important conversation.
Instead, take notes on what needs to be addressed next and schedule an additional meeting to review remaining discussion points.
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