Productive meetings can really go a long way for any business. Meetings have a purpose and when they don’t fulfill that purpose it can be a waste of valuable time and resources for all individuals involved. If meetings are doing what they are supposed to be doing, then they should be a productive use of the time of all individuals are present.
Unfortunately, not all meetings go as planned and not all meetings are as productive as the organizer’s want them to be and planning a productive meeting can often be easier said than done. While this can be frustrating, the good news is, there are things that can be done in order to help the average meeting be more productive.
Keep the Meeting as Short as Possible
No matter what the topic may be or how interested all parties are in what you have to say, if you run a long meeting, people are simply going to start to fade out and lose interest. There are so many people who think that long meets are productive meetings because you are able to cover more information. However, when the audience isn’t engaged and isn’t paying attention to what is going on, the opposite effect takes place and you are actually wasting your own time and the time of many of the meeting participants.
A quick fix is to keep meetings as short as possible. While you may have to have a few additional meetings in order to cover all of the topics that you want to cover, the shorter the better when it comes to meetings. This will help you keep the attention of all of your attendees and make certain that they are actually paying attention and absorbing the information given to them during their meeting.
Only Invite the Most Essential Individuals
The more people in the room, the more distracted meeting attendees will be. When you have individuals attend that don’t need to be at the meeting, it can only cause confusion and act as a distraction. The people in attendance need to really be there for the betterment of the meeting and to get something out of this meeting. With this in mind, try to keep the guest list of your meeting as short as possible. The right people can pass the necessary messages on to those who are not in attendance if they need to. This again will help keep the meeting short and sweet. It will limit questions and it will ensure that the right people are getting the right amount of time to talk during this meeting. More people does not mean a meeting will be more productive.
Start and End With Action Items
If you want people to really take action when they leave your meeting then you need to make sure that you are starting and ending on a high note. Start with an action item at the beginning of your meeting. It will help get the attention of meeting participants and let them know that this is going to be a meeting about productivity. Once you have their attention, then you can start diving into other points of your meeting.
You need to end on a similar note as well. Make sure that you conclude your meeting with an action step as well. This way, when your meeting attendees leave and head back to their day, they will remember the action steps that they are supposed to take and leave motivated to take action. Typically, people will remember the first thing and the last thing you say to them in a meeting the most, so take the time to carefully choose what action items you will be beginning and ending with.
Keep these easy tips in mind whenever conducting a formal office meeting. While it is impossible to ensure that every meeting will be as productive as the organizer’s want it to, these tips can really go a long way in helping these meetings be more productive. Keep the meeting short, the guest list short and start and end with action steps and you can be on your wat to the most productive meetings you have ever had.