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Meeting Tips to Success

25 Jun

Several of you may spend a large portion of the work week in meetings discussing projects to find some that actually accomplish tasks and are going places, while others seem to be a waste of your valuable time.  In making a mental note from the several meetings I attend in any given week, whether I host them or am an attendee, I have come across a few helpful tips that have helped me to achieve the goals set forth for the meeting topic, as I know time is money and very valuable to all. 

  1. Send out a Meeting Agenda in advance of the meeting, so everyone can prepare to discuss the topics that effect their department.  My goal is to send the agenda out 1-day to 4 hours before the meeting.
  2. Designate a Meeting Notetaker
  3. Limit the Distractions: Ask everyone to attend the meeting in person, unless they are unable due to meeting location differences (Nevada vs. New York).  Ask members to turn off their Cell phones and only allow computers for note-taking, presentation of a slide show or program to be used throughout the meeting.  This allows the focus of everyone to be on the meeting topic and not get distracted by e-mail, doing other work on their computer, instant message, people stopping by, phone calls, etc.
  4. Book the meeting room 15 minutes before the actual meeting time to setup and prepare yourself so you can start on time and get the complete 1 hour devoted to your meeting topic
  5. Introduce yourself to others you have not met before or after the meeting.  If it is a large crowd, I tend to take the first few minutes to tell everyone my name, what department I work for, and what my goal/agenda is for this meeting.  This allows everyone to put a face with a name and understand the objective of the meeting.
  6. Allow for questions/discussion throughout the meeting
  7. Devote the last 5 minutes of the meeting to summarize the meeting and review the action items of the meeting
  8. Send out the meeting minutes within 48 hours of the meeting so the members can review them and act upon them.  I add screen capture the action items straight from the meeting minutes in the body of the e-mail with the person(s) name and deadline to complete the task.
  9. Follow-up before the deadline of the action items to make sure they understand the requirement, can still meet the deadline, and answer any questions.
  10. Keep the meeting straight and to the point.  If the meeting goes off track, it is the meeting host’s job to keep everyone on task and moving to complete the agenda items.
  11. Make sure you have the right people in the room for the discussion.  It is important when sending out a meeting invite you give them the agenda for the meeting, so others can forward to other attendees that should be there for the discussion.  Also, make sure you don’t get too many people involved, rather small groups and sub-meetings are best so the you can get through the agenda items of the meeting.
  12. Thank Meeting Members for their time.  We are all busy, so taking time to thank those throughout the meeting for their help completing their action items and time for attending the meeting is so important.
What meeting tips have helped you run a more effective meeting?
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