Meeting Facilitation Cheat Sheet

What is the Meeting Facilitation Cheat Sheet?

The Meeting Facilitation Cheat Sheet is intended to serve as a quick reference for facilitating any meeting. 

What’s the Benefit?

The benefits of using the cheat sheet include:

  • Getting reminders to complete any meeting  pre-work that might be required
  • Making sure meeting attendees all have the same understanding of what the meeting purpose is
  • Making sure meeting attendees are all on the same page about the most effective questions to ask / ways to achieve desired meeting outcome(s)


The cheat sheet is intended to serve as a quick reference for a person who’s going to be facilitating or playing a key role in assisting with a meeting.


  • Feedback from attendees (and possibly others) on desired meeting outcome(s)
  • Understanding of the problem space/business domain/keep topics to be discussed during the meeting


  • Achievement of desired meeting outcome(s)

Preparing for Success

The following cheat sheet steps are suggested before arriving at the meeting.

Before You Arrive 

Before you reach the virtual or physical space where the meeting will take place: 

  • Ensure invitees know in advance what the meeting objectives are 
  • Ensure that everyone who needs to be there has been invited (conversely, only invite people who really need to be there)
  • If it’s going to be a lengthy meeting or deal with complex topics, consider coordinating with one or more people in advance to assist with activities  such as note taking (acting as a “Scribe”) 
  • Make sure you have everything you need. It’s a good idea to have a “facilitator kit” with you all the time for in-person meetings, containing things like:
    • Dongles/adaptors 
    • Power cable 
    • White board markers 
    • Sharpies 
    • Post-it notes/index cards 


The remainder of the cheat sheet steps are recommended for the meeting itself.

When You Arrive 

  • If the meeting space is in use when you arrive (whether virtual or physical), find a polite way to make sure the people using it are aware you are waiting 
  • Make sure the equipment that you need is ready (for example, audio device and display device are working for an in-person meeting) 
  • Consider writing what is to be accomplished during the meeting on a physical white board and/or in an electronic tool (if not before the meeting,  then at the beginning) 
  • Change the arrangement of the furniture, as necessary 

While You’re There 

Key things to do during the meeting:

  • Verify that anyone attending remotely can see and hear what is being said/being shared 
  • Remind attendees in the meeting space to sit reasonably close to an audio device 
  • Make sure everyone has the same understanding about what is to be accomplished 
    • Try to boil it down to “What is the single most important outcome we need from this meeting?” 
  • Check for consensus on what question or questions need to be answered to achieve the desired outcome(s) 
  • Only stay as long as you need to in order to accomplish the objective(s) 
  • Provide periodic reminders to make sure discussions stay on topic 
  • Use a Parking Lot to capture topics that might need discussion at some point, but don’t need to be discussed during the meeting For longer meetings: 
  • Watch for signs that people might need a break (whether one is scheduled or not) 
  • Look for opportunities for attendees to move around the room, by engaging people in activities or standing together in front of a white  board 

Before You Leave 

Before closing the meeting:

  • Make sure the desired outcome(s) were achieved 
  • Check for shared understanding on what outcomes were achieved 
  • Identify any follow-up steps that are needed, and who the owner(s) is/are 
  • Thank everyone for attending 

As You Leave 

For in-person meetings:

  • Make sure everybody has the items they brought with them 
  • Return the room to at least as good a state as you found it in (return chairs to their original positions, discard trash, etc.)