10 Ways to Have More Effective Meetings

by Diamond Hunt-Coleman

Have you ever been sitting in a meeting wondering,“When will this be over?” Or “How does this benefit me?” Maybe you’ve conducted a meeting where it seems like you’ve lost the attention of those in the room. Here are ten tips on how to conduct a more effective business gathering, taking the mundane out of your next meeting.

Time Waits for No One

Start your meeting on time. Those who are constantly late will get tired of missing out on important information, and those who are on time will be encouraged that their valuable time is not being wasted by waiting for others.

Is This Meeting Necessary?

You should ask yourself this question prior to calling your meeting. If you can send this information out via e-mail and get the same response, then maybe there is no need to call a meeting.

Keep It Short

Aim for shorter meetings. Try to complete an hour-long meeting in 30 minutes. This will take prior organization and a concise agenda that should be strictly adhered to as much as possible.

Should Everyone Attend?

Unless it’s mandatory that you include everyone in a department or company, aim to include only the individuals who are the decision makers or those who are a part of an existing project or goal.

Hear People Out

Give attendees a stated, predetermined amount of time, ranging from one to two minutes, to share their ideas and opinions after an agenda item has been presented. This helps everyone to feel included and brings diversity to a discussion.

Ask for Feedback

Don’t be afraid to send out an e-mail or even ask prior to adjourning the meeting what could have been done differently. This is a learning experience for everyone.

Keep Presentations Engaging

A meeting doesn’t have to be a theatrical circus, but everyone should be engaged so that decisions are not made just to get out of the meeting.

Summarize the Main Point

Prior to the close of your meeting, summarize what was and was not accomplished and what your next meeting will cover. Clarify the tasks that were determined at the meeting and who will be working on them.

Keep a Record

The more important the decision, the more pressing the questions will be. Aim to have the meeting minutes out within 24 hours.

The “E” in Team Is Encouragement

Encourage coworkers to bring fresh ideas to you prior to the meeting so they can be included on the agenda. After the meeting, thank everyone who attended and acknowledge their efforts at the meeting and their contributions in your workplace.