Let’s be honest – meetings can be boring. How many of you have wanted to fall asleep in the boardroom? It has been estimated that employees spend around 31 hours in meetings that are unproductive.
So, how do you ensure a productive meeting? Below are a few top tips to guarantee your meetings are not wasting time.
Don’t ever go into your meeting with a vague agenda. Have an end-goal in sight. The best meetings are ones where the goal post is clear. Begin your meeting by saying what it is you hope to achieve by the end of it.
Having a basic agenda that you inform everyone of, keeps everyone in the meeting on the ball and on track.
Sometimes office politics seem to get in the way of meetings – sometimes we invite people who don’t necessarily need to even be there. It is important to know who will contribute to the meeting agenda and who can help achieve the objectives.
Make sure your meetings are exclusive in this regard, and only invite the right personnel to ensure you don’t go off track.
Time your meeting to the second, this keeps everyone focused in the meeting, making sure they say what needs to be said in the allotted time. This means no waffling and unnecessary chatting. You are there to achieve a goal and nothing more.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos banned PowerPoint for meetings! All too often we get caught up listening to the presenter read an entire slide show, word for word. If you are using PowerPoint as a crutch to get you through the meeting, then those in the meeting will feel like the meeting is on life support – and disengage.
Meetings usually take place in the boardroom, but if you have a one on one meeting, why not have a change of scenery? Even going for a walk and talk around the office or in the courtyard can make for a powerful meeting. Many innovators swear by walk and talk meetings. Steve Jobs was a big advocate for this meeting strategy!
You have certainly heard of the “icebreaker” but you can take this concept a step further and incorporate a team building exercise in your meeting. This will break up a boring topic, get the attendees motivated, and stir creativity. Energy is essential to a successful meeting, and helps you achieve your agenda effectively.
Excellent meetings happen with excellent leaders. It isn’t easy to be the one making sure things move along, but someone needs to be accountable for this. Once you have set the standard for effective, efficient, and entertaining meetings, your team will give you their best!
Masterskill offers a variety of training materials to ensure you always have productive meetings:
Effective Meeting Skills: A Practical Guide for More Productive Meetings (Revised Edition), Student Edition, CCT-108-S
Meeting Skills for Leaders: Make meetings more productive (4th Edition) – Student Guide, CCT-181-S
Conducting Meetings, Student Manual, COT-SC5-S