Tips on Running a Smooth, Panic-free Meeting

March 8, 2013 Published by
Post Categories: Advice For You

By Heather Intihar, CA and Ed Scheck, FCA

Running a successful meeting will stress out the most seasoned of presenters. There’s always concerns about technical snafus or losing your audience.

The keys to running a meaningful and engaging meeting are good preparation, a strong presentation and lots of participation.

Here’s how to make sure you’re mindful of both:


  • Distribute the agenda a week (if possible) before the meeting, so everyone arrives prepared
  • Test your audio-visual equipment before the meeting, and leave it turned off when not in use
  • Survey the meeting room and consider assigning seats
  • Prepare follow-up questions and discussion points, in case discussion fizzles


  • Make use of other speakers to prevent monotony
  • Indicate only 1 person should speak at a time
  • Break every 90 minutes
  • Start an agenda list on a flip chart as ideas come up so that you don’t have to remember everything that’s been said
  • Make eye contact while speaking
  • Don’t look at the screen to read points as you present
  • Don’t read every line of the PowerPoint, rather summarize your comments after the audience has read the material
  • Use humour to reduce tension and improve communication


  • Build discussion by asking open ended questions rather than making statements
  • Don’t display a mountain of slides and overheads – it can be overwhelming
  • Let it be known that it’s okay to disagree
  • Canvas input from those who do not speak up
  • Thank individuals for their participation