I am frequently asked what I do to prepare for a meeting. I hope what I share here will spark a conversation!
Traveling as much as I do, I quickly learned that I need to leverage every minute I have to understand the environment in which I will be meeting.
By environment I mean the entire ecosystem:
- Who am I meeting?
- Who do they know?
- How do other people see them?
- What do they think of their own community?
- Who else within their communities could I ask to be a speaker?
- When can I ask them to highlight something about their community?
Having run global trade missions for 20+ years, I’ve learned that global might bring you the name but local is what gets you the traction.
I learned that when a large institution brings me in as an expert in my field it is a blessing and provides me a powerful stage, but I want to leverage that stage to highlight the amazing talent that is there locally. There are amazing people and talented people in every community, no matter its size or location.
I search the person’s name, look at LinkedIn to see their jobs and organizations, and spend time reading anything they might have published. I also try to figure out if they attended any conferences, have met through different venues in the past, or if we had any one in common on any social media sites.
What this provides me is the ability to immediately connect with the individuals that are in the meeting. I reference their points and them to speak about an experience that I spotted in their profile.
It also elevates my profile when people know that I will be doing my homework and may be able to provide value because I did all my research on the community, what it needs, the individuals involved, and how they could impact the community.
Do you seek out information on the person you are meeting? Do you plan to ask them clarifying questions? What else can you do to prepare for your next meeting?
BEFORE YOU GO
We see our blogs as opportunities for dialogue. Please share your thoughts as comments.
- What questions can you ask yourself before you attend a meeting?
- What can you learn about the individuals in the organizations with which you are meeting?
- What tips can you share about preparing for a meeting?
Faris Alami is Founder and CEO of International Strategic Management, Inc. (ISM). He works internationally, presenting Exploring Entrepreneurship Workshops and other entrepreneurial ecosystem — related ventures.