The meetings can be short or long, boring or interactive, well-managed or badly organized. The only thing that is important is their efficiency.
In order to run productive meetings, we need to eliminate one-by-one each aspect that doesn’t add value to the work. That is why we should spend more time planning and organizing the meeting.
Here are some tips and tricks on how to manage a meeting with 21st century skills.
Make your objective clear
Every meeting should have a defined and useful purpose in order to achieve the desired outcome. You have to be clear about a meeting’s objective in order to meet it. Sometimes organizers fail to really analyzing a meeting’s main purpose.
The objective of the meeting can be a decision process, idea generation, reports, planning, communication, etc. All you need to do is to clarify your expected outcome.
Before sending the calendar to your colleagues, ask yourself:
What do you seek to accomplish with this meeting?
The meetings with vague objectives are more likely to be inefficient and time consuming.
Select the right participants
When you are calling a meeting, think about inviting people whose presence is essential. Make a list of people that really need to attend the meeting.
Also, try to reduce the ones that are not directly related with the objective of the meeting. When people feel that the discussed topic is not relevant to them or that they lack the skills to be of assistance, they will view their presence as a waste of time and will not add any value to the meeting. Instead, you can send them a brief email summary or have quick call afterward. This will save you a lot of time and will help you reach your meeting objective quicker.
In order to run a successful meeting, you must be fully prepared before it starts.
First of all, you need to provide technical and clerical support. Confirm the meeting time, place and duration.
Then, it’s essential to prepare an agenda. By distributing it in advance, you will let the participants be prepared ahead of time and be more engaged during the meeting.
Also, send out the necessary documents to all attendees before the meeting and gather any equipment, such as projectors, screens, laser pointers, microphones or audio speakers.
Start and end on time
Late arrivals are very common at meetings. Usually, the whole team wastes 5 to 10 minutes waiting for latecomers and, as a result, the meeting goes beyond the scheduled ending time. There is a simple solution for this: Start your meeting right on time and do not wait for latecomers. After some time, people will understand the idea and will probably be embarrassed by entering into the room in the middle of a discussion. By doing this, you will develop a reputation for being someone who starts and ends promptly and you will see how your team will make every effort to attend your meetings.
Also, try announcing the length of the meeting and stick to it. Nobody loves meetings that go way beyond the scheduled ending time. People appreciate it when you understand that their time is valuable.
Use the right tools
Zoom – For your remote employees, use this software-based conference room solution. It is the leader in modern enterprise video communications that provides you with screen sharing and a full suite of collaboration features.
Twiddla – You can also use this web-based meeting place that allows you to markup websites, graphics, images and more via a whiteboard. It can be very useful for team building and for presentations during staff meeting.
Swift Polling – This tool will save you time to collect participants’ feedback. This is a real-time polling app that allows you to create polls and open-ended questions. You enable the participants to vote right from their mobile phones (by text voting or web) and see the results on the screen in real time. This could be a time saver for your meetings.
Use these tips and tricks to rock your next meeting!