Business meetings are a powerful and effective use of time when conducted right and with a plan. However, too often too many companies fall short by conducting disappointing, ineffective meetings. To make matters worse, about half of all meeting time is typically wasted, which costs the company tens of thousands of dollars when you add up the annual income of those in attendance.
So how do you conduct an effective, well-orchestrated meeting?
Follow these five simple tips:
Know Your Purpose - Pre-planning is the secret ingredient to successful meetings because they begin with the end in mind. Know what your goals are for each meeting.
Have a Written Agenda - The agenda should list the order of the discussion, topics, individual moderation of the topics and time for questions or comments. This holds those in attendance accountable.
Stay on Time - Use the clock as your compass to keep you going in the right direction. When time is not managed, people become careless with the discussion and unfocused.
Maintain a Meeting Facilitator - Have someone designated to keep the conversation on topic, take notes and assign the DRI's of action items.
Follow-Up - The final step is to follow-up with those in attendance by sending a summary of the meeting with discussion points, action items, assigned DRI's and any relevant non-agenda discussion points.
The goal is to make every meeting matter and get the most value from the time of those in attendance. If you can host good, productive meetings, your company will only perform better.