Anatomy of a Successful Meeting

How often do you walk away from a day full of meetings feeling unproductive and uninspired?

It’s time to step up: PREPARE, UNIFY, CLARIFY, INTENSIFY, and UNLEASH your teams.  You can run meetings that generate engagement and create a forward-moving agenda.


Meetings don’t just happen. They require preparation. 

  • Review the context. Do a situational assessment and determine the who, when, where and how.
  • Think about the opportunities and risks.
  • Determine objectives and develop KEY MESSAGES.
  • Anticipate tough questions and strategize responses.


A sense of unity sets the tone for a more meaningful engagement.

  • Rekindle the why – Restate your vision and mission. Point to your North Star.
  • Celebrate success by sharing hero stories. Catch team members doing the right things.
  • Express your gratitude –  Acknowledge the team’s hard work and dedication.

People need to understand the purpose of the meeting, their roles and what you’re hoping to achieve.

  • Articulate clear meeting objectives. Are you educating, inspiring, solving problems, or all three?
  • Clarify each person’s mission-critical role. If they are not mission-critical, don’t invite them.
  • Finish this sentence: “At the end of the meeting, our goal is to …. “


Create value, turn up the heat and collaborate – that means everyone. 

  • Educate to establish context.
  • Promote the sharing of ideas.
  • Facilitate problem solving.
  • Drive toward consensus and calendarize actions. – ABC (Always Be Closing)


Good meetings become great when you harness the momentum to catapult forward.

  • Connect outcomes to vision and mission to illustrate the value of the meeting.
  • Clearly articulate go-forward expectations.
  • Deliver a strong close. The options are many: call-to-action, heart-felt thanks, pep-talk…

When you structure your meeting using these five steps, PREPARE, UNIFY, CLARIFY, INTENSIFY and UNLEASH, your teams will leave your meetings fired up and ready to tackle the world!


Richard Butterfield

Richard Butterfield

Richard Butterfield has been supporting highly productive meeting communication and presentation skills for 25+ years. Richard is the author of It’s Showtime: Richard Butterfield’s Power of Persuasion.

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