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Prepare for any meeting in 10 minutes

It’s 10:50am, and your Blackberry just reminded you of a meeting that is scheduled at 11:00am. You have ten minutes to prepare and have no idea where to start! No need to fret, here are some pointers to help you prepare and be on time.

Woman giving presentation

Know the basics

Remember the five Ws and the H — who, what, when, where, why and how — from grade-school? These are also key ingredients to being successful and prepared for any last-minute meeting.


Who is the meeting for? Is the meeting for upper management, staff level, HR, etc.? Know your audience, so that you can present the material according to the group of people present.


What is the meeting about? What is the message that you are trying to deliver? Understand the point of the meeting, so you can ensure the message is conveyed correctly. Look over the meeting agenda, review any relevant notes and emails, and sketch out a simple outline.


We know when, in ten minutes! But when does the audience need to use this information? If the information can be broken up, you can better prepare for what’s important now.


Where is the meeting location? This is vital because the logistics of the location will set the mood of the audience. If it’s hot, people may get too warm and grow tired easily, hence the need to relay the information quickly.


Why is this meeting taking place and why is it in ten minutes? The time crunch could be due to the nature of the meeting — the information needs to be relayed now and not later. Knowing the why will also aid in expressing the urgency to the audience and better prepare your message.


How are you going to relay the information? PowerPoint, hand-outs or by a presentation from just you? If it is in ten minutes, you may not have time for additional materials, but at least having a print out of the agenda may help ensure you get your point across.

Radiate your confidence

Above all importance, do not forget your confidence. If you look like you are prepared for your meeting, your audience will most likely believe you. With the few minutes you have remaining, smooth out any fly-aways, apply lip-gloss, tuck in your shirt and smile. Your confidence will radiate the meeting regardless of your lack of preparation.

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