How To Run An Effective Meeting


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One of the most frustrating things about any business is the amount and length of meetings. An effective leader ensures that the group uses a systematic decision process but does not dominate the discussion. The job of conducting a meeting is a difficult one, because the group is likely to be ineffective if the leader is either too passive or too domineering. A considerable amount of skill is needed to achieve a delicate balance between these two extremes.

Here are some ways to facilitate better meetings for the team:

  • Ensure a successful meeting by developing a meeting objective. The facilitator of the meeting needs to answer three questions:
    • Who do I require at the meeting?
    • Why do I need them?
    • What decisions do I need them for?
    • Today’s meetings are long. A functional meeting should last no longer than 75 minutes. Using tight timelines and leaving little margin for tangential conversations.
    • Allow your meeting to be Simple, Sequential and Specific. It is best to separate data categorically. Participants hate large amounts of data and placing it into smaller bites enables better recall. Use a simple technique of three topics per meeting and three bullets per topic.
    • The best communication technique is to produce an agenda for all participants 24 to 48 hours in advance.
    • Stick to the simple and sound rule- begins on time and end on time.
    • Keep blabbermouths and grandstanders to a minimum. Don’t allow individuals to dominate a meeting.
    • Stop circling issues. When things are done, complete them. Do not allow people to continually bring up the past.
    • During a recent interview of 1000 clients 93% utilize some form of presentation method. The greatest culprit – PowerPoint. I was in an elevator recently listening to two employees discuss how the manager was going to get through all 135! Allow for more free form conversation using Flip Charts and White Boards. If statistics or charts need to be used keep them to one to two slides.
    • Avoid scheduling meetings first thing in the morning, the last afternoon of the workweek, or the last hour of any workday.
    • Send a summary of the meeting to all that attended and those that couldn’t.
    • Finally, never leave a meeting without assigning work. Things are not completed because people believe others are doing the work. Assign tasks with milestones so items continually move and finally conclude.

© 2011. Drew Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Drew Stevens
Drew J. Stevens Ph.D. (Dr. Drew) is the author of Split Second Selling and the soon to be released Ultimate Business Bible and six other business books on sales, customer loyalty, self mastery and business development solutions. Drew helps organizations to dramatically accelerate revenue and outstrip the competition. He conducts over 4 international keynotes, seminars and workshops per year.


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