Pre-meeting checklist for the facilitator

Here are a few things I think about from a process point-of-view prior to starting a meeting:

  • Have I created a Zoom room for this meeting that I can reuse in my Zoom account?
  •  Do I have all my resources prepared (documents, presentations, videos, etc.) that I want to utilize for the meeting? I always have an agenda in Google Docs open and a spreadsheet that tracks attendance and other items important to my work.
  • Is my computer plugged in or have a sufficient charge?
  • Do I have good lighting?
  • Do I have water or something to drink (maybe a beer – ha!)?
  • Have I used the restroom if I need to?
  • If I am co-hosting, have I connected with my cohost prior to our meeting to discuss meeting objectives?
  • IMPORTANT: Do I have some sort of warm-up activity to connect people at the beginning of the meeting? This could be:
    • An interesting question or quote to discuss
    • A poem
    • A tip-of-the-week
    • A game
  • Have I created an agenda and prepared it thoroughly?
  • Have I written and scheduled reminder emails so my people know where to meet, what to bring, and how to contribute?

What to send attendees prior to your meeting

We have a system for onboarding new members to the mastermind that walks members through how to join our meetings via Zoom. After that, it’s on them to save our secret meeting url and join at the appropriate time.

That said, if my staff was less tech-savvy or new to Zoom (or in a pandemic), I would make it much easier like this …

Send out a reminder 24 hours before and 1 hour before your meeting. Gmail and Outlook allow you to schedule these emails out so you don’t have to remember to do so yourself. In fact, I would write and schedule emails following the ending of a current meeting.

The reminder you send could be a Loom video where I could express my enthusiasm, an audio message via Voxer (if you have a channel set up for your school), or obviously an email.

Example email:

Hello Staff,

I’m looking forward to meeting everyone at [SPECIFIC DATE & TIME]. 

We’ll meet via Zoom at this link: [INSERT YOUR ZOOM ROOM URL].

Please make sure you have the free Zoom app downloaded on your device. You can download zoom here. If you’ve already downloaded Zoom all you have to do is click our meeting link to join. You might see a pop-up asking for permission to launch the Zoom app.

Our meeting topic will be: [INSERT TOPIC AND LOGISTICS]

  • And don’t forget these best practices when we meet:
  • Remain on mute until you are ready to add to the conversation.
  • Turn your video on — we want to see your smile!
  • Have good lighting in the room where you join us.
  • Keep other browser windows closed to minimize distractions.



PS … If you have any tech difficulties don’t forget we have a tech-help channel available to troubleshoot any problems here: [INSERT WHERE PEOPLE CAN GET HELP]


Yesterday I posted a blog about some considerations for those leading online learning/meetings/gatherings (including tech help).

During meeting checklist

  • Are we moving toward our objective?
  • Is everyone on mute with video on?
  • Am I monitoring the chat?
  • Am I following the stated times on the agenda?
  • Am I (or any participant) taking too much or any other participants speaking too much? Am I asking everyone to participate?
  • Am I “seeing & hearing” everyone? How am I acknowledging people’s contributions?
  • What is the tone of the meeting? Is it the tone we want?
  • Are we adhering to our group norms? Do I need to step in and model/lead/correct?
  • (When appropriate) Am I allowing others to lead during this meeting?

Post-meeting checklist

  • Did we meet our objective?
  • What did we agree to? Who owns what work? When will it be done?
  • Is there anyone I need to follow-up with individually from the meeting?
  • Have I written/sent/scheduled follow-up communication
    • Summarizing this meeting (if necessary)?
    • And previewing the next meeting?
  • Have I scheduled the next meeting (or is it recurring)?
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