How to make the most out of meetings

A face-to-face meeting can be a powerful way of influencing other people, as well as an opportunity for you to listen to their point of view. You need to make the best possible use of any meeting.

Prepare yourself

  • Who are you meeting?
  • What do you want to get out of the meeting?
  • What are your main points?
  • What questions do you want to ask?
  • What questions are people likely to ask you?
  • How will you remember everything you want to say and record what is being discussed?
  • Is communication support arranged?
  • How will you get to and from the meeting?

Participate effectively

  • Keep to time
  • Actively listen and speak
  • Respect what others say
  • Keep to the point
  • Be honest
  • Be polite
  • Ask to be kept informed of progress
  • Say thank you


  • Keep any promises you made
  • Write a letter to say thank you and summarise action points
  • If necessary, contact the person again to check that they are doing what they said they would


  • Set one or two clear goals before the meeting
  • Keep a record of who attended the meeting, when, what was discussed and what each person promised to do. If appropriate, share this with those who attended to make sure everyone is on the same page.

First published: Wednesday 5 April 2017
Updated: Wednesday 5 April 2017