If there’s anything more frustrating than a poorly structured meeting, it’s having one that drags on past the allotted time frame. We’re here to share some ideas for improving your next meeting!
Attending meetings that are productive, engaging, and enjoyable can seem like a challenge.
It’s been said that meetings can suck the life out of any organization but they don’t have to! Making your meetings better doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process.
In fact, if you follow these tips that were included in this helpful blog post about how to improve a meeting, you should be able to streamline tasks and get them done more quickly. Keep reading for five ways to make your meetings better!
Understanding the importance of meeting success is the first step in improving any meeting.
Something With Numbers has some more tips and ideas to improve your meeting.
Meetings can often be a chaotic experience for many people. This is because they are constantly moving and filled with a number of different people all talking different things at once. On top of this, the average meeting lasts around 45 minutes which, let’s face it, is not a very long time!
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to keep meetings from going haywire as well as improve them to make sure you’re getting as much out of it as possible.
In this blog post I’ve outlined some tips to help you optimize your productivity during those meetings to make sure that they don’t go on for hours without any progress being made.
What follows are 12 tips to help improve your next meeting.
Approach with an intention to really listen to participants and engage them in meaningful dialogue rather than set out to prove points or dominate conversation.
Establish clear objectives for the meeting, know what you want from participants, define roles for moderation/facilitation, hold ground rules for attendance (including time) and make all agendas transparent.
3.Comments & Questions
Avoid interruptions and allow time for people to comment and ask questions.
4.Confidentiality & Schedule
Ensure participants understand how confidentiality will be managed, and respect the decision of the chairperson to manage the agenda in confidence.
5.Meetings and Scheduling Methods
Use a regular meeting method, such as rotating agendas or flip charts which can easily be shared, or use a paperless meeting option, such as online sharing of documents that reviewers can access from different computers. Ensure that decisions cannot be changed after they have been agreed by all members of the group.
6.Visualizations & Presentations
Avoid visualizations of text-heavy slides. Use images or graphs to demonstrate concepts. Use images or graphs to demonstrate concepts.
Make sure all visuals are accessible to participants, including text in the images which is readable for all participants, and that the presenter has an accessible copy of their presentation for themselves or that they can enter notes into it via an iPad, computer keyboard, etc.
7.Information Sharing Processes & Methods
Make sure methods for sharing information are planned in advance use Dropbox, Google Drive or store them with a third party tool like Zoho Groups.
Make sure shared documents are accessible to all participants – you don’t want to run into a situation where the chairperson wants the meeting back after you’ve sent out a document and shared it with them and then can’t find it and steps backwards and starts questioning your work.
8.Debriefings & Feedback
Make debriefings or feedback sessions part of the meeting format. Ask for feedback on activities that went well, or on areas which can be improved in future meetings.
9.Deferring Decisions to Next Meeting
Take notes at each meeting, making sure everyone has access to these minutes from their own device – either on paper or online. Use a meeting format that does not enable decisions to be taken on the spot, so decisions can be deferred to the next meeting.
Ensure all participants understand their role and responsibilities before the meeting begins, so they can interact appropriately with other participants. Encourage everyone to take responsibility for facilitating – providing feedback on how well they feel things are going, making suggestions or offering alternatives.
Ensure that there is a good mix of dominant and passive participating styles in each group – those who will step up to offer an idea or those who will listen carefully before contributing. When you have a mismatch, try to ensure a balance is provided.
People need to learn how they can integrate technology into their meeting processes as a vital communication channel, as the use of electronic devices has become common in modern business meetings.