Personal Meeting Strategies



Owanari Duke

Mrs. Owanari Duke, former First Lady of Cross River State of Nigeria, is a lawyer, philanthropist and entrepreneur. She is also a Non-Executive Director on the Board of United Bank for Africa Plc and serves as the Chairman of the Board Audit Committee.

How to Excel at Meetings by Owanari Duke

How to Excel at Work

Here, in summary, are a few of the strategies I employ (and advocate) for having very eective meetings.

1. Preparation, preparation and more preparation. You cannot be too prepared for meetings. This is the primary way you can add or receive value from meetings and thereby make the meeting eective.

2. Predetermine matters for discussion at the meeting. This is another way of saying that you should have an agenda for the meeting in order to make it eective

3. Source and secure adequate information about the matters to be deliberated on at the meeting. The focus of the research, if I can call it that, is to be informed on the matters to be discussed as well as other related matters from which inferences or inspiration for solutions can be drawn. This strategy puts you and the meeting in a position to take informed decisions. Another point, which is related to this, is that the meeting should be provided with adequate information on the matters to be considered.The meeting can take this further by insisting that any matter with little or no information should be deferred until adequate information is provided.

4. Reasonable notice of the meeting should be giving to the attendees. This is to give attendees sucient time to prepare for the meeting so that value would be added with enriched individual contributions. Secondly, it ensures that full attendance is achieved as adequate notice enables attendees accommodate the meeting date and time into their already busy and unaccommodating schedules. Reminders of the meetings should also be periodically sent to attendees in order to achieve 100% attendance.

Finally, some ground rules are very important for eective meetings. The Chairman of the meeting and attendees should endeavor to create an atmosphere where everyone is encouraged to speak confidently without the fear of being made to look unwise. There must be mutual respect and the tone of voice used should be polite and cordial. No one should be disrespectful at meetings or be spoken to in a condescending manner. All should be treated with respect. This rule applies in and out of meetings!