Effective and Productive Business Meetings
This week on the Public Speaker I talk about how to plan and deliver effective and productive business meetings. Here’s a quick summary of the episode, but you can listen to the episode here. (It’s less than 10 minutes time.)
- Know and state the purpose of your meeting. Meetings are good for coming to resolution. If you are sharing information perhaps another approach is better.
- Know and state the idea outcome. This motivates participants to achieve it.
- Include the purpose and outcome on the agenda.
- List required and optional attendees.
- For each topic list who, what, and how long. Ex. Review conference location – Paul G. 3 min
- Include breaks and social time on the agenda.
- Send out agenda at least a day in advance.
- Start and end on time, even if everyone is not there. Return from breaks on time too.
- Mange time by assigning limits to each segment and using a timer.
- Use a two-minute warning system to alert participants they are about to go over.
- After each segment get explicit, public ownership of tasks.
- Maintain a positive engaged environment by assigning a facilitator who asks questions and encourages feedback from all participants.
- Have a rule that only one person speaks at a time.
- Latecomers shouldn’t be embarrassed, but they shouldn’t be “caught-up” either.
- Be sure to greet and say good-bye to all meeting participants. It’s good manners and it’s good for networking.
- Verbally express support of good ideas.
- Insist on no blackberries, no phone conversations in room, and maybe even no laptops!
- Follow-up the meeting by distributing the notes quickly and updating project plans.
While researching for this episode I found a few, fresh new interesting ideas. I wanted to include them in the podcast but it was already running long with the tried and true tips. So here they are.
- From Marissa Mayer at Google: Block out a large chunk of time each week that can be divided into 10 minute increments. Allow people to schedule “micro-meetings” within the larger block of time. This idea comes from
- From Google: Consider projecting a large timer on the wall to help people keep to published time frames.
- From Google: Encourage people to supply evidence for their statements.
- From Bert Decker: Cut the meetings you have in half. Cut the time of the meetings that remain in half.
Finally, I just want to add a comment. I do understand that many of the ideas discussed are for INTERNAL organizations. For me, I spend most of my time in meetings with clients, vendors, partners, and prospects. I think different rules apply in those situations. In addition, I also spend time in meetings with volunteer groups and these are by far the most painful meetings for me. I hope to write something with these types of meetings in mind as well.
If you’ve got some tips and suggestions for these situations, please pass them along or post them in the comments! I am very interested to hear what you think.