A meeting occurs when two or more people come together for the purpose of discussing at least one subject and usually making at least one decision. Formal meetings within a business context may include shareholders' or partners' meetings, board meetings, management meetings, committee meetings and project meetings. A formal meeting will normally have an agenda (a list of things to be discussed, accomplished or decided at the meeting) and someone taking minutes (a summary of major points made and decisions taken).
The qualities that make a good speaker will vary somewhat with the type of meeting. A different style will obviously be appropriate in a shareholders' meeting with 300 people present and in a committee meeting of five. Nonetheless, certain qualities are always desirable, the principal ones being clarity and brevity. The most common complaints about meetings are that they go on too long and include a lot of unnecessary discussion of inessentials. An effective speaker will be able to state the points at issue clearly and succinctly, outlining the pros and cons of any given decision in such a way as to promote focused and productive discussion. This does not mean over-simplifying the issue, but the best speakers are able to distil large quantities of information down to the essential issues that require a decision. This is one reason why lawyers are often tasked with running meetings, since one of the most important parts of a lawyer's training is the skill of deriving a few essential points from hundreds of complex documents.