If you have an effective process for preparing for a major business meeting, the meeting itself is more likely to be successful. Preparing for a successful meeting is a special type of project: It requires you to set objectives, to solicit the participation of co-workers, partners and people outside of your organization, to manage a myriad of room and facility details, and much more. Mind mapping software, with its powerful ability to gather and organize numerous bits and pieces of information, can help.
Here’s how to utilize mind mapping software to plan your next meeting:
- Define your objectives: What is the purpose of this meeting? What do you hope to accomplish? What will a successful outcome look like? Place each objective on a separate branch in the “objectives” section of your map.
- Determine who should attend the meeting: Who needs to be there? Who has the information or input you need for the project? Which decision-makers should be involved in this meeting, if any? Which of your subordinates will be working on this project, who need to be part of this meeting? Are there any outside partners, consultants or other people outside your organization who should be involved? Record each person’s name and pertinent contact information on a separate branch in the “attendee” section of your map.
- Define agenda items: Let the objectives you have defined help to drive the agenda for your meeting. List the topics to be discussed, and who will lead the discussion of each time segment. Place each agenda item on a separate branch in the “agenda” section of your map.
- Determine your facility needs: Next, create a new branch within your map to explore your needs for the meeting room. Will any participants be making PowerPoint presentations (or use MindManager for group brainstorming)? You can use your map to define audiovisual needs (such as an LCD projector and screen), support for teleconferencing, lunch arrangements and much more.
Why not use mind mapping software to structure and organize your next business meeting? I’m sure you’ll find that it’s a great tool for streamlining your workflow and keeping a myriad of details well organized!
Excerpted from my popular e-book, Power Tips and Strategies for Mind Mapping Software.