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Five Tips for Hosting a Successful Meeting

Question: Recently, I have taken more of a leadership role in my company.

My boss just informed me that he would like me to conduct next week's meeting with our sales team. This will be the first time I am fully in charge of a meeting, and I want to make sure I am thoroughly prepared. How I can make sure the meeting runs smoothly?

Answer: A well-run sales meeting will keep a sales team focused and motivated.

A relevant, well-planned meeting has the potential for being some of the most productive time in the sales week and an event that the team wants to attend.

1. Have a vision.  Talk to your boss and anyone else that can contribute insight. Ask them what they want to achieve for the year. Create a unique vision for this meeting. Is it about teamwork, new products, rapid growth?

2. Create an agenda.  Look at what was done in the past for a guideline on what should be included. Make a list of each relevant topic that's appropriate for discussion. Work with your boss or co-workers to get input.

3. Find a location.  Decide where the meeting will take place if it's not in your office conference room. Start working on details with the facility's managers. They will be able to lead you through all the choices.

4. Connect with any speakers.  Work with any speakers you might decide on to address the group to get a gist of their topic. Ask what technology they'll be using and if they will have any special equipment needs.

5. Keep people in the loop.  Make sure you are keeping the appropriate people informed of any updates. It is always better to be more informative.

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Michael Crom is executive vice president of Dale Carnegie Training. For advice on work issues, visit www.dalecarnegie.com or e-mail carnegiecoach(AT)dalecarnegie.com.

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