Everyone has those days filled with back-to-back meetings, when despite having countless projects in progress, nothing seems to get accomplished.
In situations like this, it’s possible the organizer did not clearly explain the purpose for the meeting, or maybe enthusiasm is low if attendees feel like they have been in the same meeting before. Whatever the cause, your meeting effectiveness and productivity needs to be improved! Here’s how:
1. Include Objectives in the Invitation
First things first – before the invitation even goes out, everyone should know why they are being invited to the meeting. As the organizer, have a goal in mind. What do you need to accomplish? What do your attendees need to accomplish? Everyone must have a firm grasp of what they will be expected to do before, during, and after the meeting.
2. Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!
Let everyone know what needs to be prepared, with adequate lead time. If the objective is to decide on the title for a new campaign, ask each person to come with at least 3 titles. If the objective is to review slides for a client presentation, ask for a couple alternatives or backup slides to replace any the group decides not to use. Going into the meeting with more than what you need will ensure the meeting can be productive.
3. Share an Agenda
A brief agenda helps to reaffirm the objective while outlining how much time can be allocated to each item. Block off time for 30-minute meetings in 10-15 minute increments, 1-hour meetings in 15-30 minute increments, and so on. If someone starts going over the allotted time for their item, it may mean that matter should be tabled and discussed at greater length during a one-on-one, via e-mail, or at a future meeting. Adhering to your agenda helps get everyone in and out of meetings on time, preventing overbooking.
4. Take Start & Stop Times Seriously
Never take for granted that if a meeting is set to start at 10:00 am, starting at 10:10 is fine too. Everyone is busy, so showing up late to a meeting affects all those attending. Yes - urgent customer matters or questions from your boss may interrupt your day, but don’t let them derail your entire schedule. Instead, politely let them know you will return to their needs once you return from your meeting. Your coworkers are bound to also have obligations, including other meetings to attend – perhaps in that same room – and tasks to complete, so it is important to not only manage your time, but respect the time of others.
5. Establish Action Items
The meeting is over – now what? Before the meeting ends, make sure everyone knows what the next steps are and when they are due. To borrow a phrase from Mark Toro of North American Properties, “W.W.D.W.B.W.”, or “Who will do what by when?” This question reminds everyone that the meeting might be over, but there’s still work to do. Setting the expectation that one person or a team is responsible for a specific task with a clear deadline will prevent redundant meetings in the future.
Considering installing room screens to make meetings at your office run more smoothly? Condeco Connect could be that solution. Connect is a user-friendly, cloud-based meeting room screen solution that needs no extra software. Connect seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Exchange and Google Calendar for simplicity, so you spend more time in your meetings than planning them.