Many of us attended so many unproductive meetings or meetings we don’t even know why we are there for. Unfortunately, we cannot avoid making meetings altogether because a successful business needs brainstorming, discussion and an open-dialog among others. However, we can make meetings more effective. In order to increase efficiency and not to waste everyone’s time, below you can find 5 effective meeting tips.
1. Don’t Start Late: There are always some people who join the meetings 5 to 10 minutes late. Don’t wait for them to start your meeting. Starting late to a meeting is punishing others for being there on time. Therefore, always start right on time. You can do a recap for latecomers after a few items are discussed helping them to catch up.
2. Prepare an Agenda: Get prepared for your meeting and make an agenda with the objectives you want to go through. Email this agenda to your coworkers prior to the meeting so that they can also get prepared. Make sure your meeting objectives are clear and can be understood easily by others.
3. Ensure the Right Participation: Evaluate who you are going to invite to the meeting carefully. If you want your meeting to be effective, you have to invite the right people. Moreover, the number of attendees is an important factor determining the efficiency of a meeting. You have to find the optimum number for your meeting. Go through your list and ask yourself if that person is really needed to be present on the meeting.
4. Stay on Topic: If you want to finish all of your agenda, then, stay on your agenda. If someone tries to open another topic outside the agenda, politely remind him that it is not on the agenda and should be discussed at another time. However, if that topic turns out to be crucial in your business and needs to be resolved immediately, you may ask other attendees if they want to resolve it right away assuming all of the right people to address this new topic are present.
5. Document Your Meeting: Delegate someone the task of keeping meeting notes during the meeting. Close your meeting with an action plan recapping who is going to work on what. After the meeting, email these notes to all of the attendees stating who is assigned to which task. Make sure you send this email within 24 hours. Follow-up with these people after a few days to see their development.