OK, let’s be honest, nobody likes a meeting. We all hate being pulled away from our desks and pulled into a meeting that could have been put into an email. However many company owners feel that meetings are necessary to get FaceTime with each other.
The thing is, most people don’t enjoy FaceTime with each other, especially if the meeting is boring or it’s not there to do anything. Rather than remind people of what they already know. The original intention of a workplace meeting was to improve communication and collaboration, but we now work in an environment where that can be achieved online.
The problem is that today we have an overabundance of meetings and everyone has at least three or four meetings that nobody needs to attend. This is unproductive, it’s time-wasting, and it means that everybody hates going to meetings. The thing is, occasionally you do have to write a meeting successfully in your boardroom, and if you don’t have your boardroom set up for success, you’re going to struggle.
From the boardroom table being laden with documents and drinks, to ensuring that you have enough air conditioning and fresh biscuits for everybody, setting up a successful meeting doesn’t have to be difficult, but it can be. So if you want to make sure that your meeting is run successfully, take a look at our tips below and you’ll get there in the end.
Photo by Christina Morillo
- Make a plan. If you want your meeting to be successful, it needs to have a plan involved. You should have an outline of the topics that you want to prioritize and discuss, and you should try and time yourself before the meeting starts so you know exactly how much time you are taking away from your employees. If you have some informational bullet points to go through, then you should ensure that you are taking your time to get all the information out there while not wasting the time of others. You don’t want to go in there and just start ripping off an agenda. You want to ensure that you know exactly what to say ahead of time so that you sound knowledgeable and you can get to the point quickly.
- Don’t invite everybody. There is no need to have a company-wide meeting if it’s not going to pertain to everybody in the business. When you plan your meeting make sure you know exactly who needs to be there and only invite those who need to know the information that you are going to share. It’s not about privacy but it’s about making sure that you’re not wasting people’s time when there needs to be other business activity going on.
- Make sure people have the right information in advance. If you have a long meeting scheduled, then make sure that you print the agenda and send it to the relevant parties in advance of the meeting. If you have a 30-minute meeting slot, then make sure that it’s efficient enough that you can go through the meeting points at that time. Otherwise, you’re going to end up with everybody bored and tuning out of what you have to say and that doesn’t make for a successful meeting.
- Make it interactive. If you want to keep people’s attention spans when you are having a meeting, then using presentations can help you do that. Music is also a good thing to include if the meeting warrants it. You don’t want to have a bunch of talking heads waffling on for hours at a time, especially if you’re trying to keep people’s attention. Remember the shorter the meeting, the faster everybody will pay attention and then go back to their desks.
Photo by Christina Morillo
- Don’t go off on a tangent. One of the most important ways to run a meeting successfully is to make sure that you stick to your agenda. It’s not easy to do though, especially if you have people firing questions at you. So make sure that questions are held until the end of the meeting so that it doesn’t go off topic. Anything that’s off the meeting topic can be discussed afterward and made that clear at the beginning of the meeting. As nice as it is to share others’ perspectives, you all have to make sure that your meeting goes off without a hitch.
- Don’t schedule too many. A successful meeting is one that you haven’t had for a while. If you’re scheduling one to two meetings per day every day, everybody’s going to lose interest before they even step foot in the room. With no time to reflect or follow up on a meeting, people are going to be bored and confused with too many meetings shoved down their throats. Having a quick morning pow-wow once or twice a week can help you to keep everybody on track, but it can also help you to understand exactly where people are in their day-to-day lives.
- Manage your time effectively. There are so many tools out there for managers to use to manage their time, but when it comes to meetings, you should ensure that you are using these time management tools to the best of your ability. Scheduling meetings, confirming who’s attending, and sending reminders can all be done with this type of technology. Eliminating any of those ineffective meetings can reduce meeting overload.
- Have someone take notes. For the meeting to be a success, everybody has to be able to reflect on it properly, so having somebody conscientious enough to take accurate notes of the meeting is vital. If no formal minutes are taken, did the meeting really take place?
- Don’t go over your time slot. Booking out the boardroom can often be difficult enough, especially if you are in a shared workspace. If you’ve only invited the essential staff, make sure that the agenda is orderly and you stick to it, and then, therefore, you should be able to finish on time. Remember, nobody likes meetings, so don’t drag it out any longer than is necessary.