Use this easy 11-step guide to make the most of your meetings
Create a guest list for your meeting. Your guest list should only include people who need to attend in order to avoid wasting anybody's time. Smaller meetings generally work best.
There are many ways of holding meetings, including:
Choose the one that best suits the outcome you want to achieve. For more information, read our blog 11 steps for running an effective business meeting from beginning to end.
An agenda is a plan for your meeting. It should outline each goal or objective of your meeting, identify the speakers and estimate the length of time to be spent on each point.
Your meeting may require handouts or a presentation. Make sure you organise these well in advance and read through them thoroughly to make sure there are no mistakes. If you need to distribute anything, be sure you have enough to go round.
Send an invitation to your guests telling them the time and date of the meeting. Be sure to include any other information they may need. This may include the location of the meeting or directions on how to join an audio conference or a web conference.
Stick to the agenda you created. If other issues come up in your meeting, it's OK to park them and come back to them at a later date. If you have time you could bring them up at the end of the meeting, otherwise schedule another meeting. Sticking to your agenda and watching the clock means your meeting should end on time.
Make sure you give everyone a chance to speak in your meeting. There's no point meeting with your guests if you don't give them a chance to express their opinion. Encourage the quieter attendees to contribute too.
Make sure you gather all the notes you've made during your meeting and put them together in one document. This includes anything that may have been written on a whiteboard.
Once you've gathered your meeting notes, send them to your guests so that they have an overview of what happened in the meeting. Include any action points that need to be undertaken and who has been assigned to complete them. This prevents people from forgetting their tasks.
Once the meeting is over, get feedback from your guests about how they feel it went. Use this feedback to improve your next meeting.