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How to have productive meetings

 Use this easy 11-step guide to make the most of your meetings

 

Group of happy young  business people in a meeting at office.jpegBefore Your Meeting

1. Define your goals and objectives

Decide what you want to get out of your meeting. Do you have a specific problem that needs solving? Do you need to have a brainstorming session? It's important to know exactly what needs to be achieved in the meeting before doing any planning.

2. Finalise your meeting guests

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.

3. Choose a meeting platform

There are many ways of holding meetings, including:

  • in-person meetings
  • audio conferences
  • web conferences
  • webinars

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.

4. Create an agenda

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.

5. Organise your meeting collateral

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.

6. Send out your meeting invitations

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.

 

top view of  business people group on meeting, working in modern bright office indoor with tablet computer.jpeg

During your meeting

7. Stay on topic and watch the clock

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.

8. Get input

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.

 

 

Smiling charismatic speaker giving public presentation in conference hall.jpeg

After your meeting

9. Gather your meeting notes

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.

10. Send meeting notes and action points to guests

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.

11. Get feedback from your guests

Once the meeting is over, get feedback from your guests about how they feel it went. Use this feedback to improve your next meeting.

 


 

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