A ROOM with a view? Not necessarily. However, getting the boring logistics right, such as seating arrangements and technical equipment at the chosen venue, is vital to the success of a meeting.
You have decided a gathering is the only way to communicate a certain message. Now you must make sure everyone knows when and where it is being held and how to get there. If people are irritated before you even begin to speak because of issues relating to the set up of the event, or due to them not being able to find it, they are less like to make a constructive contribution.
If people are coming from outside the building, reception and security staff should know who to expect. Consider arranging tea and coffee – or water – pens, paper etc – the basics. And don’t allow mobile phone use, a real no, no as it is impolite and unprofessional and is likely to distract and upset others.
Get the meeting off to a good start, with a nice welcome, an introduction, using a businesslike tone, while making sure you demonstrate you have a grasp of the subject matter to breed confidence. Explain the purpose and make sure people are aware what is expected of the attendees and how they can contribute. Give a summary of the ground rules – timescale, agenda, when to ask questions etc – putting the recipients at ease and enabling them to picture what is ahead, while making them feel comfortable.
Don’t railroad people into accepting a point of view you may hold, or to accept a conclusion you may wish to arrive at. Take care not to alienate participants by pushing through your view too strongly.
Let others speak first, then give your own stance. And letting someone else articulate a view you hold, either a colleague or another, can help you get a point across in a way that doesn’t make people feel you have gained an unfair privilege by chairing the event. In addition, make sure those with opposing views are given the opportunity to make their case.
(Based on a section in The Greatest Management Tips in the World)