Saturday, January 7, 2012

Effective Meetings – 7 Top Tips

Meetings, meetings, meetings – they’re a fact of economic life, yet how frequently are they an effective use of your time and effort? Many of us dread them with good reason. I understand a hugely successful businessman who once explained the secret of excellent meetings isn’t to let people take a seat – I’m still unsure whether he was joking or otherwise!

But a meeting is the greatest way of communicating. Aside from removing all of the chairs out of your meeting room, what else could you do to expedite proceedings? They are my fundamental guidelines:

1. Think about timing – nobody I understand is exactly in sparkling form soon after lunch or late within the afternoon.

2. Set plans and circulate it to any or all participants a minimum of a day before. Tthere shouldn’t be excuse for arriving unprepared.

3. Always start and finished on time – don’t interrupt in conclusion for latecomers.

4. If you aren’t going to finish inside an hour, take a rest every 45 minutes or everyone is going to be nodding off.

5. Have clearly defined roles agreed beforehand. You’ll need someone who can firmly but tactfully keep things on the right track – do not let the discussion to slip into gossip in order to go off in a tangent. Also anyone to take minutes – concise minutes – and distribute them afterwards.

6. The whole idea of a meeting is ACTION so do not let people to leave without making their action points clear.

7. Do you will need to attend whatsoever? If you feel you’ve got nothing to contribute, request the minutes to become sent to you.


  1. Another reminder....make sure the leader does not have his smartphone sitting on the table beside him. It is bad enough others pull theirs out -- It is VERY frustrating when the leader keep checking his...Illustrates that he is not totally engaged in the meeting.

  2. Meetings are a, seemingly, neccessary evil. They should be planned and have an agenda. There is no excuse for smartphones and twittering. Where is the focus? Proper planning and preparation.....

  3. Have a check-in for a group that knows each other and meets on a regular basis. This can be real quick, less than 1 minute per person, but gets everyone engaged. Also, having the chairs set in such a way that everyone can see each other helps to keep people involved and energized (not so quick to fall asleep. I always prefer some semblance of ballroom style, even in a small space. Also use the parking lot for ideas that emerge that are valuable, but off the agenda.