When was the last time you heard someone say, "I love meetings, they're the best part of my workday!" Probably never, and there is a reason for that.
Many people dread meetings because they feel like the meetings roll-on for hours and then finally when it's over, they haven't accomplished anything. The good news is that there is plenty you can do to change that. Try these meeting management tips to have more effective and engaging meetings.
You might want to keep the detailed meeting itinerary (with all your notes) to yourself, but that shouldn’t prevent you from sending your meeting guests a lighter version beforehand. Did you know that a well written meeting invitation actually can benefit productivity? .
This gives each guest the chance to gather their thoughts and questions about the subjects you'll be covering. Doing so, will make for a more productive conversation with all those who attending.
Set aside a dedicated and uninterrupted space
Nothing kills an effective meeting like someone knocking on the door about a phone call or staring awkwardly into the room to try to poach the conference room. You can avoid all of this with the right meeting room management system.
The Meetio system, for instance, makes it easy to book your conference room for as much time as you need. The smartphone app lets you book a room the moment you schedule the meeting, no matter your physical location at the time. Having a room tablet outside each meeting room, combined with a big visual dashboard in the hallway, ensures everyone knows which rooms are booked and at what times, so there are no awkward interruptions.
Set Detailed Time Benchmarks
You're looking at your itinerary and you say, "An hour is plenty of time to cover all of this." Then you get into the meeting and one of your four topics gets away from you. Suddenly you're trying to cover the last three topics in ten minutes, and then you sound like the narrator at the end of a commercial reading the disclaimer at light speed.
Sound familiar? So, to keep yourself on track, set time limits for each topic. Think about how much feedback and input you expect from your team and how long the conversations will take. Include those time expectations in the itinerary so everyone is on the same page. If you need to cut off the conversation, people will know it's because you're tight on time, not because you don't value their input.
Make time to define the next steps
No matter how much you cover during a meeting, it can all go to waste if you don't discuss how to move forward. To make the most of your time and keep up the momentum you gain, set time at the end of the meeting to define the next steps. Every person should leave with a clear action plan of what they need to do.