People are rarely fans of meetings. Nobody likes how meetings stretch for long hours without accomplishing anything at all, in the same way that no one likes to be interrupted for short meet-ups that could’ve been established through an email update. Hence, if you’re holding a meeting, you should prepare an agenda beforehand. Don’t call on a meeting on a drop of a hat, even if you think it’s a necessity.
If a meeting is in order, you’ll need the following tips to make sure that your meetings would accomplish their specific goals.
Set your objectives
You might be free for a meeting, but your co-workers do not share the same schedule. Everyone’s time is precious, so first and foremost, you should know what your meeting will be about. What do you want to accomplish? Discuss only one matter at a time. Don’t let your concerns branch out until the original objective is left unresolved. Objectives must remain clear and simple, but at the same time, they must be important to the extent of requiring personal attendance. If not, you might as well just do it through email.
If, however, you’re doing a weekly or monthly task update, here are three things to focus on:
- Tasks done
- Approval needed
- Priorities for the following week or month
Invite the right people
When discussing the objectives of the meeting, it’s vital that everyone sitting there should be able to contribute their ideas and opinions. Since meetings are time-sensitive, you don’t want anyone being idle — or worse, playing on their smartphones. Make sure all the invitees would find the meeting relevant to their tasks and responsibilities.
It’s a norm to have presentations in meetings, that’s why you should prepare one as well. This is to make sure that everyone knows you mean business. And if there’s something you should remember when creating presentations is that they should be very visual. Leave out the bulk of text in the notes section. Make people listen to what you’re saying instead of just leaving them to read everything on their own. This is to keep them engaged and attentive. Creating a great presentation will help you practice, making it easier for you to discuss the topic smoothly during the meeting.
Book everything in advance
Since you’ll be presenting your deck, it’s a must to reserve the company projector in advance. If the room already has a working projector, be sure to test it beforehand to make sure there wouldn’t be any delays before or during the meeting. The same goes for reserving a laptop or asking an assistant to prepare refreshments. That means you should also book a meeting room in advance. This will allow for you to send meeting invites beforehand, giving your officemates or associates enough time to prepare for it.
Start on time
When everything’s ready and all there’s left is to attend and start the meeting, be sure to keep the schedule and follow the given time on the invite. Never waste time waiting for late attendees. If you see yourself holding these meet-ups often, set an example by always starting professionally by the dot. Other than making sure the meeting objectives are met, remember that saving time is of utmost priority.
Schedule a Follow-up
When the meeting is done, make sure to schedule another meeting to check whether the goals discussed have been met instead of just letting it be. This will demonstrate a more intentional and hands-on approach. Then again, if a meeting isn’t extremely necessary, maybe a follow-up email will do.
Meetings don’t have to be boring or a waste of time. Now that you know all these tips, you’re more equipped to hold an efficient and effective meeting. Make sure that everyone learns or contributes something valuable in each session.
What are your tips for quick but concise meetings? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!