Have you ever been to a meeting that was dull, time wasting, unorganized? If your answer is “no”, then you’re either lying or just haven’t been employed for that very long. Yet, meetings can be fun, interactive and powerful experiences as well. That way, they can impact business productivity and morale. The key to having a good meeting is to develop an effective process that will grab the attention of attendees and wield results. Here are six tips to running a successful meeting.
Schedule Every Meeting
Impromptu meetings may seem like a good idea in the moment–hence, the word impromptu, but they can be very distracting as they mean that people have to set aside their work and have to put off the goals that they may have been trying to make in that moment. Something like that could also cause anxiety among workers, which could decrease productivity. To help with this, make sure to use scheduling software like Add-on so that all employees can know the location and time ahead of time.
Have a Purpose
Every meeting needs to have a purpose, otherwise you may find it to be aimless and meandering. Make sure that you identify a solid goal beforehand. Is there a project that you want to discuss? Are there any problems that need to be handled? If there are several goals that you want to address, write it all down or put it in some sort of slideshow so that you can make sure that it gets discussed.
Invite the Right People
Figure out who needs to attend your meeting and why, such as people from certain teams or departments. If you’re going to be talking about a particular subject, then invite someone who specializes in it (either from inside or outside the company) who can give you more insight. Also, you may want to consider inviting people from senior management, if appropriate, and certain committees that may be able to help you reach your goals by their attendance.
Don’t Waste Time
There is nothing more irritating than feeling like your time has been wasted. With quotas to make and projects to get done, it’s important for workers to feel like going to a meeting was helpful to them and worth their time. This is why you should always make sure that your meetings don’t get derailed with off topic discussions, arguments or boring rants. If a topic has already been exhausted, move onto something else. Constantly be aware of how much time the meeting has taken up. If the meeting goes on for too long, cut it short or allow the attendees to take a quick break. Always ask yourself, “Is this necessary?”
Keep it Interesting
Pay attention to the body language of your meeting attendees. If they start to look bored, either change up the topic or talk directly to the people in order to get them more engaged. Some meeting organizers will occasionally throw in some humor or topic discussions that will liven up the room. One common technique is to watch short, funny video clips that are related to the discussion topic in some way. Another method is to somehow turn the discussion topic into a game that involves everyone. Once a year or so, though, you could probably even invite an experienced guest speaker to motivate your employees on a particular topic relevant to your company’s vision.
Following up is probably the most impactful part of any meeting. If there are goals that were made, then make sure to reach out to those individuals who agreed to it a day or so later to make sure that they remembered it and a week (or whenever the deadline was made) to make sure that it was accomplished. Another way of following up that you should start doing is writing newsletters after every meeting and sending them out to employees so that they can be reminded of the important points that were mentioned.
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably used to going to a meeting every now and then. Maybe you haven’t had to be in charge of them just yet or maybe you are just starting out leading them, but hopefully these tips will help you to have engaging and effective meetings in the future.