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92 brilliant meetings Introduction B efore you begin to prepare for any meeting, ask yourself this fundamental question: `Is a physical meeting the most effective method for achieving the desired outcomes?' If the answer is `No' then do not organise a physical meeting ­ consider your alternatives. If the answer is `Yes' then the foundation for a Brilliant Meeting begins with preparation. brilliant tip Time spent in meetings will be reduced through effective preparation. The skills required to organise a Brilliant Meeting are quite dif- ferent to those needed for leading one. If you have `called' the meeting, the probability is that you now have the combined responsibilities of leader and organiser. Even if the latter is with assistance from a secretary or PA, there is a real danger that, if essential preparation is not adequately completed, the result will be a `poor meeting' for all involved. Meetings are vital to organisations and, in order to facilitate par- ticipants working together as a group, much work will be required to ensure that the `Why, Who, When, Where, What' for the meeting have all been completed prior to the event, whatever the subject matter, meeting type or purpose. So whether it is a project meeting, group meeting or a brain- storming session, this section contains suggestions to assist with preparation and help transform your next meeting into a Brilliant Meeting!