How to Start a Meeting - Comprehensive Guide

Are you the host of a meeting, but don't know how to start? Or perhaps you are the attendee of a meeting and the host isn't sure of what to do? Either way, this tutorial will teach you the best way to start a meeting, no matter the context.

What do you need to Start a Meeting?

Before you can begin a meeting, there are a few things you need to have in order, such as the following items:

A shared agenda - Even if it's a casual call, it's always a great idea to come equipped with a shared agenda. For example, Slack also allows you to share and collaborate on agendas before beginning a call.

Access to the meeting platform - The platform you choose depends on the kind of meeting, but more often than not, Zoom and Google Meet will work just fine.

A meeting facilitator - The host of the call should have some experience hosting a meeting, and preferably someone who isn't too shy to speak up. This person will be responsible for setting up the environment, reminding participants of their responsibilities, and making sure everyone is heard.

Step 1: Setting up the Pre Meeting Environment

Before you start the meeting, be sure to set up the environment to ensure a smooth meeting. This involves setting up the basic guidelines for the meeting, as well as making sure everyone's laptop or device is ready to use.

Open up the meeting platform - When you open the platform, be sure to make sure that everything is working properly. Check the audio, video, and other settings to make sure they're working properly.

Send out the agenda - Whether it's the agenda you prepared earlier or a template one you found online, make sure all participants have a copy. This will help everyone stay on track and feel more involved in the meeting.

Check the microphone and camera - Some participants may not be used to speaking in a meeting environment, so it's best to check their microphone and camera as a courtesy. Even if they're comfortable with it, they may have forgotten to turn it on, so it's best to check it before there is an awkward silence.

Step 2: Welcoming the Participants

Once the basics are taken care of, it's time to welcome the participants. This helps create an atmosphere of openness and trust, and it lets the participants know the host is happy to have them. Here are some suggestions on how to welcome the participants:

Ask everyone to introduce themselves - At the beginning of the meeting, it's polite to ask all the participants to introduce themselves. This helps everyone get to know each other better, and it gives the host the opportunity to learn more about the participants.

Use a meet-and-greet - It's always a good idea to use some sort of meet-and-greet when starting a meeting. Ask participants about their hobbies and interests, as this helps create an atmosphere of openness and acceptance.

Reset expectations  - A good way to start a meeting is to reset expectations. Explain what the participants can expect from the meeting, and also let them know their responsibilities. This ensures everyone is on the same page, and it also helps set up an atmosphere of trust and respect.

Step 3: Setting the Topic and Goals

Once the participants are aware of their role and expectations, it's time to set the topic and goals of the meeting. This should be done in a concise and clear way, making sure everyone is aware of what will be discussed. If there is no specific topic, explain the meeting's purpose and let the participants know how the meeting should progress. For example, if it's an agenda-driven call, explain the agenda and how the meeting should progress in order to achieve the desired outcome.

Step 4: Initiate the Meeting

Once the environment and goal are set, it's time to initiate the meeting. This can be done in a variety of ways, depending on the environment and the context. Some tips for initiating the meeting include:

Start with a question - Ask the participants a question to get the conversation rolling and keep everyone engaged.

Use visuals - If you have visuals or video content to share, use them to break the silence and get the conversation started.

Ask for feedback - Ask the participants to give their opinion or share their thoughts on a particular topic. This will help initiate a discussion and make sure everyone is heard.

Step 5: Set a Timeline

Once the meeting is initiated, it's important to set a timeline. Explain when the meeting will end and when breaks will be taken, if necessary. This ensures everyone is aware of how much time is available and how much progress can be made. Additionally, setting a timeline is important to avoid having the meeting drag on and on.

Step 6: Closing the Meeting

Once the meeting's goals are achieved and the timeline is filled up, it's time to close the meeting. Ask the participants to give their final remarks and remarks, and then thank them for their time and participation.


What are the benefits of setting a timeline for a meeting?

Setting a timeline for a meeting is important to ensure that the meeting does not drag on and become inefficient. It also sets expectations for both participants and hosts, and helps keep the conversation on track.

What are some best practices for setting up the pre-meeting environment?

Some best practices for setting up the pre-meeting environment include: setting up the meeting platform, sending out the agenda, checking the microphone and camera, and setting expectations for the participants.

When should the meeting facilitator introduce himself/herself?

The meeting facilitator should introduce themselves as soon as the meeting starts, so all participants can get to know who will be in control of the meeting.

What are some tips to start a meeting?

Some tips to start a meeting include: asking everyone to introduce themselves, using a meet-and-greet, resetting expectations, setting the topic and goals, initiating the meeting with a question, using visuals, and asking for feedback.

What are some methods to close a meeting?

Some methods to close a meeting include: asking participants to give final remarks and thanks, summarizing the goals of the meeting, and concluding with some tips for the next time.


Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.