Whether you’re holding a meeting internally or with a prospect’s organization, it’s important that you create an agenda and send it to the invitees ahead of time.
Why do I need to send out the agenda? For one, it allows the people attending the meeting to know ahead of time where you’re coming from, giving them a chance to come to the table with some ideas or questions. It also shows that you’ve thought through your talking points and that you’re not going to be wasting their time. Additionally, if someone is on the fence about whether or not to attend the meeting, he or she will be able to make an informed decision based on your planned topics of discussion.
Once you’ve sent out the agenda, stick to it and stay on track during the meeting. You’ll lose the respect of your audience if you go off on a tangent or fail to touch on all of the discussion points. Also be sure to leave enough time for questions (which may mean paring down your list of topics before sending it out).
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