How to Prep For Any Big Meeting

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Meetings — whether they’re in-office with a manager, a quick coffee with a new connection, or a follow-up after a networking event — are *super valuable* opportunities to get face time with someone important to your career. No pressure, right?

Don’t worry, this checklist should thoroughly prep you for that meeting so you can walk in there confidently:

  1. Research who they are and what they do

Give the person a Google, even if you have been working with them. You never know what hidden accomplishments they have. Check out their LinkedIn to learn about their work experience and how they describe their job.

2. Set a goal for the meeting

Know what you want to get out of the meeting. Do you want to stay in touch with that person? Learn about their job to decide if it’s for you? Pitch a new idea to your manager? A successful meeting should have a specific, achievable goal. And don’t be afraid to communicate it to them beforehand!

3. Prep questions you may have

Come prepped with a list of topics and questions you want to go over with this person. That way you don’t forget anything you wanted to ask and you can avoid those dreaded awkward silences. No thanks.

4. Bring slides or other materials

This isn’t relevant for informational or networking meetings, but sometimes preparing a quick presentation or one-pager is the secret to a successful meeting with a manager. Do you have a new idea you’re sharing with them? Or maybe you’re recapping your internship and want to highlight some wins from your time there.

5. Be ready to speak up

Use your voice and be heard. Meetings are your chance to make your ideas or unique perspective heard. It’s not about having all the right answers, but that you’re contributing whatever you have to the conversation. Resist the temptation to let the other person talk endlessly. One trick is to start your statement with “Just to jump in…”

After the meeting, be sure to follow-up to thank them for their time,recap what you talked about and mention any next steps. Be prepared and you’ll knock their socks off!

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Ciara Bush