Thursday, 25 August 2016 16:00

4PM Coffee Thoughts: How To Crush A Meeting

schedule meetings easy

If you have to have a project proposal meeting, might as well rock everyone's world.

When you schedule a meeting, the goal is to get 80% or more attendance. Don't worry if a couple people can't make it. Chances are that they're not important anyway.

Your goal is to just get three types of people in the meeting:

  • The Decision Maker - The person in the company that can make decisions. 
  • The Money Guy - the one that will grant you the funds to get the project done.
  • The "Endorsers" - Higher ups that need to see what you're doing and will endorse it. 

Let me go into a bit more detail:

The Decision Maker is the the one that hits the "Go" button on your project. This might be your boss, or even his boss. Chances are you know who this person is, and it's imperative to get them in on this meeting.

The Money Guy is equally important. Without funding, your project will go nowhere. Make sure that the money guy is present.

The Endorsers are the bosses and higher ups that will defend you and the project to the CEO. Make sure the right endorsers are at your meetings as well.

Then, there is one group that should be present, but it doesn't matter who's in it:

Groupies.

There's no better way to call these people. They're the ones that aren't necessarily related to the project in any real way, but you need a good number of them to amplify the importance of the project. Their primary role is to sit there and just nod their heads in approval.

Lets face it, the more people there are when you walk into a meeting, the more important it seems, right?

The Presentation

When you give the presentation, you need to "work the room".

The easiest way to do this is ask questions that the Groupies have to nod their heads yes and agree to.

Asking questions such as "Wouldn't we like to increase our profits 20% this quarter while reducing expenditures by 30%?"

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to agree to this, and that's exactly what you want. Firing off questions you know people will agree to does two primary things:

  • The Decision Maker (DM) subliminally sees that everyone is agreeing with everything you say, so you MUST have a good idea.
  • The meeting will feel like a success, and your project is a winner if all the groupies are agreeing.
  • It's hard to publicly decline a project when everyone else is saying "yes".

When everyone is agreeing, The Decision Maker will feel hard pressed to go against the grain and decline the project. The money guy won't be able to refuse your budget because the DM just said yes, and finally, the Endorser will be inclined to speak very highly of the project (and you) to the CEO because everyone else was agreeing so positively.

During The meeting, make sure someone is taking notes. Barring that, record the presentation on your phone so you can write the summary and talk points while pretending to be really busy and getting things done when you return to your desk.

Email the summary and talk points out to everyone that attended.

Get People Talking About The Presentation

Here's the slick part.

Pick 5 to 10 groupies that did not show up for the meeting.

Also pick two or three groupies that did.

In the Email, under an "ACTION ITEMS" header, ask those people that showed up (by name) to inform the 5-10 groupies that did not show of what happened, and ask them to share the email with talk points for the non-appearing groupie's review, and provide feedback from the non-appearing groupie.

Those who you asked to share the meeting notes will because you included all the bosses and higher ups in the email, so they know they have to do it.

Believe me, there's no point to this other than to get people to talk about the project.

Getting people to talk about the project creates a buzz. Get enough people talking and providing (pretty much useless) feedback, and your project (even if you aren't doing a thing because you left out real action items on purpose) will be the hottest project to land on the CEO's desk.

Time to ask for a raise, extra accommodations and other perks, right?

That's the whole point.