Have you ever been in a meeting where attendees are snapping photos of the screen? The speaker may pause and say: “You don’t have to take notes or pictures – I’ll share the material afterwards.”
If you’re new to workplace culture, you may be shocked to discover that not all meeting leaders or speakers remember to share the material! Forgetting to do this does even more damage than its impact on the ability of attendees to access the materials from that one meeting – it damages their trust in you and ultimately saps energy from your company culture. Here is a simple way to avoid all that:
Share materials before the meeting.
But my materials won’t be ready until five minutes before the meeting! It’s still simple if you have Microsoft Teams or any collaboration tool:
- Create a folder where you will place the meeting materials.
- Share a link to that folder as part of the meeting invitation. If you have people dialing in, also provide the link online as part of the meeting. The folder doesn’t actually need to contain anything when you send out the invitation (unless you want people to review things in advance).
- If you’re sharing the materials to a screen as part of your meeting, take a moment to show the audience how to find the materials. It will increase their comfort with your collaboration practices, and it will also build their trust.
The best part is that if you need to add new materials or revisions to what you’ve shared in the meeting, you can dump them into the same folder and your attendees will see them when they come back.
But I don’t have time to do all that extra preparation! If you don’t have time to prepare for the meeting ahead of time, you won’t have time to circulate the materials afterwards. The time you free up by preparing will come back to you later.