Meetings can be boring, exhaustive, and a down-right ridiculous waste of time if you don’t handle them properly. When you’re in a leadership position, meetings are a part of your day-to-day life. When you need to discuss important details about a project with your team, you need to plan the meeting carefully. You’re going to get nowhere if you’re not able to retain your team’s attention.
Here are some tips of how to make your meeting more productive and keep every participant engaged.
• Less is More – Before you even plan a meeting, consider whether it’s actually needed. Several leaders think that meetings need to happen regularly whether they’re needed or not. For example, you tend to schedule a meeting at the end of every month. Why schedule a meeting at the end of every month unless it’s absolutely needed? It’s best if you only schedule a meeting when you need it. To keep your team engaged and updated, you can easily schedule a meeting every quarter.
• Have a Meaningful Agenda- Just having an agenda isn’t enough; you need to have a meaningful agenda. There are some companies that schedule meetings regularly and discuss company policy and ethics for the lack of any other subject. That’s just a waste of everyone’s time and no one’s going to be happy about it. However, if you need to discuss an upcoming project, or a new client, or any subject that your team needs to know about, having a meeting is necessary.
• Planning Ahead– Plan the meeting carefully and well in advance. While you’re planning it, be sure to consider the following points:
− The number of people needed for the meeting. You need to limit this number to people who’re absolutely necessary.
− See if you can use remote conferencing tools to have meetings with people in other areas.
− Consider if it can be conducted remotely.
− Check in with everyone you want to call to the meeting. You need to make sure that the time is convenient for most people.
• Organize your Agenda- Now that you know you have a meaningful agenda to discuss; you need to decide how to go about it. It’s vital to deliver the information in a clear yet concise manner. You should use tools like presentations or videos, etc, to explain your point.
Visual mediums convey information more clearly and in a structured way. Organize all your information and explain it in steps. You need to make sure that there’s no room for ambiguity.
• No Open-Ended Statements to Conclude the Meeting- One of the best ways to make meetings successful and productive is to end it with a call to action. Essentially, you need to set clear goals during the meeting that every member of the team needs to follow.
For example, if you need to prepare a detailed proposal for a client along with design samples, give your team a timeline and assign individual duties. This will ensure that they have a purpose as they leave the meeting.
If you follow these points, you’ll have meetings that are purposeful, interesting, and that don’t suck.