You take your responsibility as the company’s management seriously. That means you have to regularly schedule and conduct meetings for various business operations.
Sometimes, though, these meetings can seem boring or unnecessary. That doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault – it happens, and it’s crucial to stop it when it does. If you start to see your fellow meeting attendees figuratively, or even literally, nodding off, it might be time to reconsider how these important meetings are handled.
Having effective meetings every time you guys sit down can make or break a company’s productivity. It is important to stay up to date on all of the latest meeting management practices.
The good news is that you have come to the right place by reading this article. Listed below are the top six meeting tips to make sure every meeting you conduct runs smoothly and efficiently.
Plan and Prepare To Make Sure the Entire Meeting Is Useful
A successful meeting starts with the preparations ahead of time. Everything about a meeting needs to be intentional and necessary.
For example, you need to consider what the ultimate goal of every meeting should be. Is there a decision that needs to be made? Is there a marketing strategy that needs to be delegated?
Don’t hold a meeting at all if you don’t find a real purpose behind it. Note that over 70% of senior managers around the United States consider regular meetings to be unproductive or inefficient. Clearly, it can be easy to fall into the trap of only holding meetings for the sake of routine.
You can break such habits by ensuring that only the attendees necessary to reach the ultimate goal are invited to the meeting. The next step is to make the agenda.
Perfect the Art of Making, and Sticking To, Meeting Agendas
An agenda can either be a tool or a hindrance to the company’s overall productivity. Consider what your upcoming meeting’s ultimate goal is, and break down the discussion topics that will help reach that goal. If you can, send out the agenda beforehand so that attendees know what they should prepare for.
Once the meeting has started, do your utmost best to stick to the agenda. The agenda should have clear points, with each point having a clear purpose to reach the meeting’s ultimate goal. In fact, the agenda should label that specific goal at the top.
Meeting Tips Are Ineffective If the Attendees Are Not Motivated
You can prepare and plan as much as you want, but if the people at your meeting are not invested, you won’t get anything done anyway. Attendees need to stay motivated and ready for action.
There are all kinds of factors that lead to workplace productivity for employees. It starts with the interior design of the office space (even the office lighting can affect productivity).
It also includes things like vacation time, the trust of the superiors and management, and even having the best tools to complete their tasks. Whatever it takes to keep your employees productive, do what it takes to keep morale and motivation up and running.
Don’t Lecture Throughout the Meeting – Instead, Facilitate
When conducting a meeting, it can be tempting to talk the whole time. You made the agenda, the responsibility of meeting the goal is on your shoulders, and, let’s be honest, you take each meeting seriously.
It can be a mistake, though, to never encourage thorough discussion within a meeting. You have other people there for a reason, so make sure you use them. The more participants are engaged in the meeting process, the more likely they are to make the meeting more productive and an efficient process.
Save Off-Topic Discussions for the End
As mentioned above, sticking to the agenda is crucial to accomplishing the meeting’s ultimate goal. Nevertheless, distractions tend to happen. It’s important to be prepared for them, no matter what they look like.
Sometimes a joke will be thrown in, and that’s great because it can lighten the mood and keep the meeting lively. Other times, though, topics of discussion are raised that should be discussed, but they do not relate to the ultimate goal of the meeting.
These topics should be clearly saved for the end of the meeting. If someone brings up outdated office equipment during a meeting about the budget, for example, there is a way to handle that.
Let that person know that the topic will be discussed at the end or at another meeting. Write these off-topic points down, and be sure to followup either at the end of this meeting or at another specified meeting. That way, attendees will feel as though their concerns are noted, but the meeting itself can stay on track.
Keep Technology Interruptions To a Minimum
Speaking of distractions, there is one kind of distraction that is often an issue in the modern day and age. That distraction is one of technology – in particular, of our personal devices. It seems as though there is always a notification to take care of, but that does not mean each notification is a priority.
It’s great that employees stay organized and up-to-date on everything they need to accomplish. Encourage them to set up text reminders or to-do lists on their mobile devices, but make sure those devices are silent during your meeting.
Take the lead, and make an example out of how you handle your own personal device. At the beginning of each meeting, take out your phone, put it on silent, put it away, then ask others to do the same. These devices are great tools, but they are only distractions during a meeting that has a clear purpose.
Maintain Business Productivity Even After the Meeting
The above six meeting tips should help you get started on the most effective business meetings your company has seen. It takes practice and skill to make sure each one is productive and efficient. Take the time to learn how to handle these in the best way for yourself and for the company.
We encourage business productivity on a lot of fronts. For more guidance on overall productivity, check out our article archives devoted entirely to just that.