Although I am in a role where business meetings, conferences, round tables are prevalent I did some digging on the Internet to find material that explains the background and framework of situations where one has to preside in a meeting. Interestingly enough this book was very hard to find and in fact wasn’t even listed on Goodreads. Sidney Sutherland provides a thorough overview of all types of meetings that one would find in the business world. From round tables, staffing meetings, forums, symposiums, conferences to formal business meetings each chapter focuses on a type of meeting, who presides, the other roles along with the do’s, don’ts, focus areas and potential issues that may arise. He even provides a list of what you need to do prior and during each type of meeting. I found this to be an excellent read and a very valuable reference that I will come back to again and again for the rest of my career given its relevancy; even though this book was written in the 60s!
Three key takeaways from the book:
1. The concept of a “buzz” session. For example after a keynote or forum, dividing the audience into groups to discuss and come up with questions. It only needs a few minutes yet allows for the audience to be confident and confirm the questions that need to ask. This ultimately drives improved interaction, satisfaction and success of the session
2. The proper way to invite (prior to session), introduce and use a speaker in various types of meetings
3. Conferences should ideally be established to solve a problem, not just provide information. This way the participants come away with something achieved.