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How to run a stakeholder meeting

Conduct a stakeholder meeting by identifying the participants, setting a clear agenda, preparing necessary materials, facilitating open discussions, making decisions based off stakeholder input, and ensuring follow-up communication.

A stakeholder meeting is a gathering where individuals or groups with a vested interest in a particular project, business, or organization come together to discuss and address key topics and issues. These meetings aim to provide a platform for stakeholders to share their perspectives, express their concerns, provide feedback, and contribute to decision-making processes. Stakeholder meetings are crucial for effective stakeholder management, as they help facilitate open communication and collaboration, strengthen relationships, and ensure that the interests and expectations of all relevant parties are taken into consideration.

What is the purpose of a stakeholder meeting?

The purpose of running a stakeholder meeting as a leader is to gather input, share updates, and align stakeholders towards common goals. It provides an opportunity to address concerns, build relationships, and promote collaboration. By actively engaging stakeholders, leaders can gain valuable insights, make informed decisions, and ensure the success of their projects or initiatives.

How to run a stakeholder meeting: Step-By-Step


Step 1: Identify Stakeholders

Identifying and understanding stakeholders is crucial in any project or meeting. It involves recognizing individuals or groups who have an invested interest in the project, including employees, partners, customers, investors, or any other relevant parties impacted by the project’s outcome.

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Step 2: Define the Meeting Purpose

Clearly lay out the goals and agenda for the meeting to ensure a cohesive and productive discussion. By articulating the purpose and desired outcomes, you provide a roadmap for everyone involved, leading to a successful meeting.

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Step 3: Schedule the Meeting

Choosing a convenient time and date for the meeting, considering the availability and time zones of all stakeholders, is crucial once you have identified the participants and the desired outcome.

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Step 4: Prepare the Agenda

Create a comprehensive agenda with scheduled discussions, breaks, and Q&A time. Share the agenda with stakeholders a week before the meeting to ensure everyone is prepared and aware of the proposed topics and schedule.

ZipDo, our creation, offers a unique solution by pulling meetings from your calendar into a shared workspace. This workspace is the foundation for building a unified meeting agenda, inviting contributions from the entire team. It promotes thorough preparation, elevating meeting productivity and simplifying the overall meeting management process.

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Step 5: Preparation for Meeting

Preparing all materials necessary for the meeting, such as research, data, charts, and presentations, is essential. These resources help effectively communicate your points and ensure a productive and smooth discussion.

ZipDo, our creation, makes team meeting preparations effortless by providing a centralized location for all information from previous meetings. Meeting leads can easily access this data, including agendas and notes, ensuring a well-prepared and comprehensive meeting agenda.

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Step 6: Communication

Prior to the meeting, it is important to communicate with stakeholders by sending any required materials and information. Confirm their attendance and send timely reminders a few days before the meeting to ensure maximum participation.

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Step 7: Conduct the Meeting

To effectively run the meeting, stick to the agenda, ensuring all points are addressed. Foster open dialogue, handle disagreements professionally, and maintain focus to ensure the meeting stays on track.

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Step 8: Record Meeting Minutes

Having someone responsible for taking thorough notes during the meeting is crucial to ensure a comprehensive record of the discussion. These notes will serve as a valuable reference for participants, allowing them to clarify details and follow up on action items once the meeting concludes.

ZipDo, our software, transforms meeting coordination by importing calendar events into a unified workspace. This space is designed for team members to contribute notes, facilitating easier meeting prep and follow-up, and ensuring comprehensive accountability within the team.

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Step 9: Question and Answer

Allocate dedicated time for stakeholders to raise queries or provide input, allowing for the clarification of any ambiguities and the exploration of diverse perspectives.

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Step 10: Summarize the Meeting

At the end of the meeting, ensure a concise summary of key discussion points, finalized decisions, and forthcoming actions is provided to effectively conclude the session and address any outstanding matters.

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Step 11: Post-Meeting Follow-Up

After the meeting, ensure to circulate the minutes, action plans, and deadlines. Express gratitude to stakeholders for their input and encourage them to share any further feedback.

Questions to ask as the leader of the meeting

1. What are your expectations from the project/initiative?

Explanation: This question helps the leader understand the stakeholders’ objectives and align them with the project goals.

2. What are your concerns or potential risks you foresee?

Explanation: By asking this question, the leader can identify and address any potential risks or challenges that the stakeholders anticipate.

3. How do you think we can measure success?

Explanation: This question ensures that the leader and stakeholders are on the same page regarding the criteria for evaluating project success.

4. Do you have any specific suggestions or ideas to enhance the project’s effectiveness?

Explanation: This question invites stakeholders to share their knowledge and expertise, fostering a collaborative environment and potentially improving the project’s outcome.

5. Are there any constraints or limitations we should consider?

Explanation: By understanding the constraints, such as budget or time limitations, the leader can make informed decisions and set realistic expectations.

6. How can we ensure effective communication and collaboration throughout the project?

Explanation: This question emphasizes the importance of communication and collaboration, promoting stakeholder engagement and minimizing misunderstandings.

7. What support or resources do you require to contribute effectively to the project’s success?

Explanation: This question helps the leader identify the stakeholders’ needs, ensuring they have the necessary resources and support to fulfill their roles.

8. Are there any dependencies or interdependencies that we need to be aware of?

Explanation: By identifying dependencies, the leader can address potential bottlenecks or challenges related to coordination and integration of different tasks or stakeholders.

9. How can we manage and address any potential conflicts or differences of opinion?

Explanation: By discussing conflict management upfront, the leader can establish a framework to address conflicts constructively and maintain a positive working relationship.

10. What steps can we take to ensure sustainability or long-term success beyond the project’s completion?

Explanation: This question encourages stakeholders to consider the long-term impact and sustainability of the project, ensuring that it delivers lasting value.

As a leader, it is crucial to prepare a stakeholder-meeting agenda that outlines the meeting’s objectives, topics, and time allotment for each item. Start by identifying the key stakeholders to involve, then prioritize the issues to be addressed. Ensure the agenda is concise, clear, and distributed in advance to allow participants to come prepared and contribute to the productive meeting.

How To Prepare For A Stakeholder Meeting
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During a stakeholder meeting, it is crucial to discuss topics such as project progress, upcoming milestones, financial performance, potential risks, and mitigation strategies. Additionally, addressing any concerns or feedback from stakeholders and ensuring effective communication and collaboration should be prioritized.

See Our Stakeholder Meeting Template
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Software tools to facilitate a stakeholder meeting

Software helps leaders run stakeholder meetings by providing tools for effective communication, collaboration, and organization. It allows leaders to create agendas, share documents, schedule meetings, and track action items. With features like video conferencing, document sharing, and real-time collaboration, software streamlines the entire meeting process and ensures all stakeholders are engaged and informed.

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Running a stakeholder meeting is a complex and important task for any business or organization. It requires careful planning, effective communication, and a focus on achieving desired outcomes. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, including identifying the purpose of the meeting, selecting the right stakeholders, creating an agenda, facilitating a productive discussion, and summarizing key takeaways, you can greatly increase the chances of success.

Remember, stakeholder meetings are not just about presenting information but also about gathering valuable insights and feedback. By creating a positive and inclusive environment, encouraging collaboration, and actively listening to stakeholders’ perspectives, you can foster stronger relationships, build trust, and make more informed decisions.

Additionally, it is crucial to document and follow up on meeting outcomes. Providing stakeholders with timely updates and progress reports ensures transparency and accountability, ultimately aiding the success of your projects or initiatives.

Running stakeholder meetings may present challenges, but with the right approach and attention to detail, you can transform them into valuable opportunities for collaboration and consensus-building. By embracing these best practices, you are well on your way to creating successful stakeholder meetings that drive meaningful results for your organization.

Jannik Lindner

I'm Jannik and I write on MeetingFever about the experiences from my career as a founder and team lead.

If you have any questions, please contact me via LinkedIn.

Popular Questions

Who are the important attendees for a stakeholder meeting?

The important attendees for a stakeholder meeting generally include project managers, project sponsors, team members, and all key stakeholders who directly and indirectly influence the project’s success. Additional people may be included as deemed necessary by the type and scope of the project.

What should be the key objectives of a stakeholder meeting?

The main objectives of a stakeholder meeting should include discussing overall project status, future direction, resolving present issues, and making crucial decisions. It’s also an opportunity for stakeholders to voice their expectations, concerns, and provide feedback.

How should you measure the success of a stakeholder meeting?

The success of a stakeholder meeting can be determined by whether the meeting’s objectives were met, concerns addressed, decisions taken, and actionable items clarified. Satisfaction of the participants and improved understanding among the stakeholders are also indicators of a successful meeting.

How to prepare effectively for a stakeholder meeting?

Effective preparation includes setting clear goals for the meeting, preparing a detailed agenda, gathering necessary materials and data, doing a run-through of the possible scenarios or questions that might be raised, and ensuring that all the participants are well informed about the meeting in advance.

How should you manage disagreement in a stakeholder meeting?

Disagreements should be handled professionally and tactfully. The focus should be on the project’s goals and objectives. Understanding the root cause of the disagreement, engaging in constructive dialogue, acknowledging different viewpoints and finding common ground or a compromise solution are the best strategies to deal with disagreements in these meetings.

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