We’ve all sat through unproductive meetings that ramble on with no point. How the meeting is organized can have a drastic effect on the climate and productivity during that time. Here are some tips to ensure a successful meeting.
1. Prepare in Advance. If you are the one leading it, send out an agenda or timeline 1-2 days before to get everyone on the same page. The agenda should be clear, concise and cover everything you plan to cover. If you are attending, read through the agenda and make notes of what immediately jumps out at you as points are discussed. Come with an open mind and be able to share and listen to others. Also, RSVP as soon as possible. It is important to let the organizer of the meeting know who will be in attendance.
2. Be Familiar with Technology. Make sure you are comfortable with the technology that will be used during the presentation. How does the overhead projector work? Can I load my powerpoint on here? Where is the electrical outlet? Is my computer going to make it through the presentation? The best way to prepare ahead of time is to check out the room in advance to see how everything operates. It is unprofessional to take time out of the meeting to fumble with technology, and this gives off the feeling that you are unprepared and don’t respect your attendees time. As the attendee, you must remember to silence phones and computers. Even the vibration of a phone against something can be distracting.
3. Start with Introductions and Stay on Task. It’s easy to assume that everyone knows everyone but that it not always the case. Start with brief introductions and avoid straying away from the meeting’s objectives. If unexpected topics arise, write them down as a sidenote with the intentions to cover if time allows. Don’t save all questions till the end, make sure the meeting does not get derailed due to unurgent matters. Sticking to the schedule allows attendees to make the most of their time and ensures no interruption to their schedule post meeting.
4. Designate a note taker. By assigning one person to this role, it allows the other attendees to become active participants and contribute thoughtfully. If you are the note taker, make sure you follow up with dates, action items, timelines, and correct spellings in a timely manner.
Every meeting organizer has their tips and tricks for conducting meetings that they have acquired over time. Even though tips and trick may vary, overall, the rules should focus on being professional and respectful of attendees the time.
Graphic Created by Jasmine Maurer