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Preparing for a Meeting

Calling a Meeting

There are a number of ways that you may call or be called to a meeting. Some meetings are announced by e-mail, and others are posted on bulletin boards. If a meeting is announced at the end of another meeting, it is important to issue a reminder. A reminder can also come in the form of an e-mail or notice. Verbal announcements or reminders should always be backed up by documented ones. The date, location, time, length, and purpose of the meeting should be included. It is also important to indicate exactly who is expected to attend, and who is not. If you are planning on allocating someone to take on a certain role, make personal contact with that person to inform them of his or her duty.

Sample E-mail:

To: jane@paristours.com
cc: kana@paristours.com; thomas@paristours.com; nolan@paristours.com
From: pierre@paristours.com
Subject: Meeting
Hi Everyone,
We will be having a meeting next Friday from 2:00 PM-4:00 PM in Room 3.
All supervisors are expected to attend. The purpose of the meeting is to
discuss the upcoming tourist season. As you probably have heard, this
could be our busiest season to date. There are already twenty bus tours
booked from Japan, and fifteen walking tours booked from North America.
We are also expecting Korean and Australian tours in late summer. Please
make arrangements to have other staff members cover your duties during
the meeting.
Thank you,

Sample Notice:

DATE: Friday, May 5th
TIME: 2:00 PM-4:00 P.M.
FOR: Supervisors only
SUBJECT: Tourist Season

Writing an Agenda

In order to keep the meeting on task and within the set amount of time, it is important to have an agenda. The agenda should indicate the order of items and an estimated amount of time for each item. If more than one person is going to speak during the meeting, the agenda should indicate whose turn it is to "have the floor". In some cases, it may be useful to forward the agenda to attendees before the meeting. People will be more likely to participate in a meeting, by asking questions or offering feedback, if they know what is going to be covered.

Sample Agenda:

1Welcome, Introduction: Pierre and Stella (5 minutes)
2Minutes from previous meeting: Jane (10 minutes)
3Japan Tours: Pierre (15 minutes)
4N.A. Tours: Pierre (15 minutes)
5Korean Tours: Pierre (15 minutes)
6Australian Tours: Pierre (if time allows 10 minutes)
7Feedback from last year: Everyone (15 minutes)
8Vote on staff picnic: Everyone (15 minutes)
9Questions/Closing remarks/Reminders: Everyone (5 minutes)

Allocating roles

The person in charge of calling and holding a meeting may decide to allocate certain roles to other staff members. Someone may be called upon to take the minutes, someone may be asked to do roll call, and someone may be asked to speak on a certain subject. This should be done either in person, or in an e-mail.

Sample Personal Request:

Pierre: Hi Jane, did you get the e-mail about next week's meeting?
Jane: Yes, I'll be there.
Pierre: Great. I'd like to put you in charge of reviewing the minutes from last meeting for us.
Jane: Sure, I can do that. I think there is a copy of the minutes in my file.
Pierre: Thanks, you'll have ten minutes to remind us of what we discussed last meeting. This will be good for Stella to hear. Stella will be our new private tours coordinator.

Sample E-mail:

To: jane@paristours.com
From: pierre@paristours.com
Subject: Minutes
Hi Jane,
I just wanted to make sure that you would be available
to review last month's minutes and present them at Friday's
meeting. We have a new staff member joining us, so I'd like
to give her a chance to see where things have been going
since the last meeting.
If you have any concerns about this, let me know.

Opening a Meeting

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