There are many ways to prepare for a meeting, and this doesn't have to be a complicated or lengthy process, but if you run a meeting without some basic work up front, it is likely that it will not go well.
I like to think of the pre-meeting (that is, what happens before the meeting) in two separate terms: planning and preparation.
Before scheduling a meeting, define the following:
What is the goal of the meeting?
Who should attend?
How long should the meeting last?
Where should it be held?
What tools or equipment are required?
What advance preparation is required?
If you can answer these questions, your meeting will be off to a good start. You will notice the last point is about what preparation is required, and here is where preparation differs from planning. While planning the meeting is putting together the structure of the meeting itself, preparation is the work you have to do in order to get everything ready for the meeting. This work is sometimes performed by the...