Masterful Meetings – How to make your meetings a success
We have all been there. Stuck in a meeting that’s dragging on, no decisions being made, everyone’s bored & wishing they were somewhere else.
Meeting apathy is a common problem across businesses of every size, whether you are a freelancer with a client or a manager leading a team gathering, there is nothing worse than an unproductive meeting.
We have pulled together our top tips for making sure your business meetings are both enjoyable & productive for everyone concerned.
1. Make sure you need the meeting in the first place & everyone attending needs to be there.
Meetings take time out of everyone’s working day. For people to really engage with a meeting they need to feel there is a reason for them to be there. When arranging any meeting go through your proposed attendee list & ask yourself whether that person really needs to be there. That they have a role to play & will be able to contribute productively.
2. Know what you want to achieve out of it.
Make sure you are clear on the purpose of the meeting. Is it to plan a project, sell your services, solve a problem, brainstorm some ideas or review progress? No matter why you are calling a meeting you need to be clear on the outcome you want at the end. What you want to have achieved for yourself & the other attendees. Knowing your outcome will help you plan what you need to cover & discuss during the meeting.
3. Make sure everyone else knows what the point of the meeting is.
When inviting others to a meeting, don’t just send them an appointment with no explanation of the purpose of the meeting. Communicate with them & inform them why you are arranging the meeting & what both you & the attendees should expect to get out of the meeting. People are far more likely to accept & attend if they are clear what the benefits of attending are to them.
4. Plan your agenda & circulate well in advance – keep time down.
As with most things in business, planning & preparation is key. If you know your intended purpose & outcome for the meeting, then plan an agenda that will help you achieve that outcome. What do you need to discuss, what information do you need to make sure everyone has prior to the meeting, do you need to present anything visual, are there any interactive elements required?
Most importantly make sure you can achieve your outcome in the least possible time. Planning properly with specific time apportioned to each task will keep you & your attendees on track & help to avoid going off piste or wasting time. No-one wants the meeting to drag!
Once you have planned your agenda make sure you circulate to everyone well in advance of the meeting along with any information you want them to read before hand to give them time to prepare & come ready to engage.
5. Ensure you have a meeting lead & a timekeeper.
Even if there are only two of you in the meeting one of you needs to lead the agenda & ensure you stick to the timings. The meeting lead should head & tail the meeting; introduce everyone & remind of the purpose at the start, lead the agenda & then finish properly with AOB & follow up. Make sure you have a clock/watch visible to keep to time.
There is no point in having an agenda if no-one refers to it during the meeting.
6. Go into the meeting with the right frame of mind.
Your frame of mind when entering a meeting is crucial. No matter what kind of a day / week you are having leading up to the meeting, productivity & motivation during the meeting will be non-existent if you don’t leave all baggage at the door.
Take 5 mins before each meeting to mentally prepare yourself, remember the purpose & try to lose any negative thoughts. Just a few deep breaths can work wonders.
7. Arrive early & check your tech in advance.
The dreaded knot in your stomach when you arrive to an important meeting & your presentation wont load, your laptop runs out of battery or you don’t have the right cable for the screen. Aghhhhhhhhh. Just a little preparation & communication with your meeting venue before hand means there is no need for that moment to ever happen. If you have tech you need to use, then make sure you know in advance what tech is available at your meeting venue & arrive a little early to set up, so you are all prepared to begin on time with no nasty surprises.
8. Do un to others as you would have them do unto you.
Even in the toughest of meetings eye contact & a smile every now & then goes a long way. Engage with the conversation, be present & try not to show any frustration. Others in the meeting will mirror your behaviour so set a good example & you will get the most out of everyone.
Put all distractions away, don’t have your phone on the table, it’s rude & indicates you think you might have something more important to deal with than the meeting you are in.
Most importantly LISTEN! Show you value the opinion of others in the room. If someone feels unheard they will immediately disengage with the conversation & you won’t achieve anything productive.
9. Have your meeting in the right place.
Your surroundings have a huge impact on the success of your meeting. Even with the best will in the world, if you are meeting in a dull, cramped, cold, hot or uncomfortable place you will not enjoy the meeting & the outcome will be severely impacted. Can you tick all of the below?
Tech that works
If you can’t then you need to find another venue OR just hire one of Rume2s beautiful meeting rooms
10. Follow up asap
You have nailed the agenda, kept people engaged & achieved your intended outcome. Don’t let the momentum slide by failing to follow up, confirm actions & most importantly thank people for their time. It’s a simple courtesy that goes a long way.
There are many elements that need to come together for a successful meeting. You may not achieve them all, all of the time but you now know what you should be working towards to get the absolute best from them.
Contact us now if you are after a high spec meeting room bookable by the hour.