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What Is a Formal Meeting?


Meetings can be formal in person or online. They are a gathering of people who have come together to discuss a particular topic. They are typically structured and follow strict rules of procedure. They also have a pre-planned agenda and clearly defined goals. They often require an appointed notetaker, an agenda, and a specific notice to be sent out to participants to be considered as official. Meetings that are formal also require detailed minutes that are transcriptions of the exact information discussed at the meeting. They are made available to all attendees to refer to later.

During these meetings, attendees are encouraged to freely share their opinions about the pros and cons of various options and provide their own perspectives in an effort to come to a common decision that is best for the company. These meetings often result in important decisions that impact the entire business.

A moderator, or facilitator is typically appointed as a timekeeper to keep the formal meeting on track. They ensure that everyone is focussed on the topic that is being discussed. A good idea is to decide how the discussion will be conducted at the beginning of the meeting. For instance, if people will be speaking in pairs it’s important to decide the length of time each participant is required to speak for and agree on rules like setting up a timer or using a timer, so that people can stay on the same page. It’s also helpful to provide an overview of the meeting, along with any deadlines that are important or the next steps.

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