How to Conduct Meetings Successfully –
Sometimes the only way to accomplish something is to have a meeting. Meetings can be an incredibly effective tool to motivate, to accomplish, and to communicate. However, without a proper strategy, a meeting can quickly go awry which means wasted time and effort. Make the most of your meetings and follow these steps for success.
Step One: Determine why a meeting needs to be held and what you hope to accomplish. What are your goals for the meeting?
Step Two: Determine who you’d like to have at the meeting and who must be there. In some cases, not everyone is essential. However, a few key figures must be present and to have a meeting without them is ineffective.
Step Three: Look at your calendar and come up with three times to hold the meeting, your ideal time, and then two backup times in case not everyone can make it.
Step Four: Create an agenda. What are you going to discuss, who needs to contribute to the meeting and what do they need to contribute? It’s important to establish this before you send out invitations to the meeting so people know what is expected and how to prepare. Set a time limit for the meeting so people can plan accordingly.
Step Five: Depending on the size of the meeting, you may need a facilitator. Of course, if it’s a small meeting you can facilitate it yourself. Determine if you need someone to take notes and how you’re going to conduct the meeting. For example, will each person have a few minutes to present followed by a round-robin session of brainstorming or discussion? Or will only one or two people present and will discussion be allowed during or after each presentation?
Step Six: Invite participants. Know your participants and invite them in a manner that they’ll recognize and respond to. For example, if you send email notifications to everyone and half your members are not active on email, they may not receive the meeting notification in time.
Step Seven: Follow-up and confirm meeting times.
Step Eight: Prepare for the meeting by making sure those who are presenting have the information and resources they need. For example, if they’re doing a PowerPoint presentation, do they need a large screen? Do they need outlets? If you’re meeting for a long time, make sure to have food and water available. If people are going to be taking notes, make sure writing materials are present.
Step Nine: Run the meeting according to the pre-set agenda. Make sure each speaker has the undivided attention of the group by introducing them and outlining the protocol for the session.
For example, if questions or comments are allowed while the person is speaking then let them know. If not then let people know they can ask questions at the end of the presentation.
If topics come up that are not on the agenda, set them aside to talk about at the end of the meeting if there’s time or agree to hold another meeting.
Step Ten: Wrap up the meeting with a summary to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Conducting a successful meeting is an easy process if you follow these ten steps. Make sure you’re well prepared and expectations are outlined so everyone knows how to behave.