We have all had that gut-wrenching feeling at work when we are about to host a meeting. Those pre-meeting nerves. Have I prepared well enough? Is my content engaging? A million questions cross our minds as we walk through the door of no return (until the meeting is over).
No matter how well prepared you are, we will all the second guess ourselves before that big meeting. This article aims to provide you with tips and tricks on how to make the most out of your meeting, whether you are hosting it or simply attending.
The first thing you should have prepared before the meeting begins is the agenda. Spend twice as much time creating the agenda as you think you should. Ensure your objectives are clear and that you are certain of what you aim to accomplish during the meeting.
Consult with other team members to ensure all points are covered and add more time to the start and end of the meeting to give leeway for any uncovered points that may arise during the meeting.
Double check the attendee list and clarify who really needs to attend the meeting, and who can simply receive the minutes in an email or a brief after the meeting is concluded.
First, ensure that you start the meeting at the set time and not a minute late. Do not wait for latecomers. This ensures that you use the entire allocated meeting time effectively and that the people who arrived on time are not penalized. This will also earn you a reputation for promptness which is well respected.
Make sure to stick to your schedule. Allocate a few minutes for each point on your agenda and ensure that every attendee can see a copy of the agenda. This will help ensure that the meeting runs on time and doesn’t go off at a tangent or a completely unrelated topic, thus keeping all the attendees focussed.
Do you sometimes struggle with time management? Why not try an online organizational tool that helps you to prioritize your time and get more done?
Create actionable lists that help you to stay focused, prioritize your actions, give team members timely feedback and more, we recommend this team productivity tool as a great time management tool.
How will you arrange the meeting room?
Firstly, think of how you will arrange the chairs. The seating arrangement is no trivial matter when it comes to conducting an effective and efficient meeting.
Meetings of different attendee amount will require different setups, so it’s important to plan this beforehand so that you are able to get the most out of your meeting. Different setups allow for different outcomes.
Depending on what it is that you wish to achieve, there are a few different seating arrangements that you can choose from. Some of the more common ones include the theatre set up, classroom style, U-Shape, conference style, and banquet style.
That’s a lot of different setups to choose from, so it’s important to plan which set up you think will make your meeting efficient before the meeting begins.
Ensure that every attendee has a copy of the agenda laid out in front of them, or that the agenda is clearly displayed on a whiteboard, to keep the meeting on track. Nothing is worse than a meeting that keeps veering off at tangents because people are getting distracted and going off topic.
Do you want people to be able to use electronics during your meeting? If no, instate a rule that bans electronics from being used in your meetings to again ensure that everyone remains focused on the topic in hand.
Don’t forget to consider refreshments too! Is your meeting scheduled to take over an hour? Perhaps set up a small tea and coffee station with a few snacks to boost sugar levels and morale.
Ensure that every attendee to the meeting receives a follow-up email clarifying all the key points. Highlight what the meeting accomplished and send it our within 24 hours to all attendees.
Document any responsibilities given, tasks delegated, and any deadlines, so that everyone is on the same page.
How to be a Part of an Efficient Meeting
So, you’ve been invited to a meeting. What can you do to ensure that the meeting is as effective as it can be? We recommend that attendees create detailed minutes that can be shared with the rest of the group and team after the meeting is over.
You can also help the meeting to run smoothly by not using too much time stating your ideas and opinions, not becoming distracted (no playing on your phone when you’re supposed to be paying attention!), and generally being a conscientious and courteous guest.
How to Improve Morale
Do you feel that your meeting attendees, or even your team members, are lacking morale? Did you know that asking positive questions can have a large positive impact on your team?
Boosting your employees’ morale has a direct correlation to their engagement in the office, which will translate into higher efficiency and better individual as well as team results.
Doing an internal survey on your employees can help leaders to gain a better understanding of their team, and collect valuable, actionable feedback.
There are numerous apps that could come very handy for meeting management and increasing team productivity!
Effective and Efficient Communication
Keeping your team engaged and up to date on all of the tasks is a crucial ingredient for leading a successful company and hosting efficient meetings.
There are a bunch of apps that can help you organize the workflow of all the team members and make sure that no task is left behind unfinished.
Platforms like Trello, TeamBition, Slack or some of the other Slack alternatives, can make sure that your team is communicating smoothly and that all your business goals are met in time.
We hope that this article has given you some useful information and valuable ideas about how to run efficient and effective meetings. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact us, we are always happy and willing to share advice!
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