Can you recall a time when you had a business meeting that went too long, one that felt pointless, or one that wasn’t organized efficiently? We are sure you’re having a traumatizing flashback, and we’ve been there to! If you need a good laugh to bring you out of that nightmare you just had, think back on NBC’s , The Office, and have a good laugh about how poorly Michael Scott ran meetings. Trust us, it’ll make you feel better! When you’re organizing and preparing for a business meeting, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Here are 4 thing you’ll need to have for any business meeting that we do in our marketing agency:
Set an Agenda (Use notes):
Ahead of the any meeting, you should make an agenda so you can keep some order. Agendas help outline what you will discuss in a meeting, how long to spend on the topic, when you will discuss subjects, and they keep the leader organized. Developing a plan with an agenda can not only help you, but your employees out immensely. When an employee knows what to expect from a meeting, they are more likely to pay attention and participate in strong group share. An agenda also acts as a timeline for meetings, which helps keep you and the employees on subject. Organization is key for anyone that is leading a meeting and agendas are the tool for that.
The purpose of meetings is, more often than not, surrounding the idea of a discussion. In order to bring the best conversation forward, let the participants know what kind of meeting it will be so they will understand what level of engagement is needed. Engagement in meetings help keep people’s attention so that they don’t zone out or feel like they are being talked with versus talked at. Some meetings may need more engagement than others; if a minimal amount of participation is needed, stay on topic and keep it short so you don’t lose anyone’s attention.
Participation in any meeting is important, but note-taking is equally as important. Participation can keep your audience engaged in the moment, but they may not retain all the information provided them with. This does not make or break the viability of the meeting, but it does allow the processes proceeding the meeting to be done smoother, since there are pieces of information to look back and reference. There are very few people in the world who want to have “follow up” meetings on a topic that was just shared, so to help avoid stacking another one on, encourage note taking!
Encourage Questions at the End
At the end of every business meeting, there are bound to be questions, so always plan ahead to open the floor to questions and answers. This piece does not have to take much time, but allowing the participants to ask things not only helps retention, but avoids the dreaded 1029981 emails of clarification that can often happen.
Meetings are a time for the whole to feel included in what is going on behind the scenes. Transparency, in our company values, is the driving force in all of our meetings. Using the above tips plus being fully transparent will garner the best results in meeting success. If you need more tips, check out one of our newest reads (thanks you our client/friend Michelle Cottingham), “Death By Meeting” written by Patrick Lenchioni