We have all been to that meeting where you aren’t sure exactly why you are there. We have all struggled to keep our eyes open throughout a meeting which seems to go on forever.
Your time is valuable, and if you want your company to succeed so is everyone else’s time too. We have put together some little tips to help you make sure that your meetings actually have a positive contribution.
- First, meet face-to-face (if you can). It isn’t always possible as companies can often have people all across the globe, but when you have the opportunity, do try and meet in person. There really isn’t a substitute for facetime. It is far too easy to let your mind wander when you are in the room… let alone when you aren’t there in person. You would be surprised how important body language is when making decisions and having a productive meeting.
- Unplug. Not only are tech tools often distracting but a number of studies have shown that students who use their laptops rather than making old fashioned handwritten notes have a significantly harder time remembering what was said.
- Have a plan. Making sure that you actually have a reason to meet is important. Get that reason written down, shared with all attendees. There is no point getting off track, you are having the meeting for a reason, so why not actually focus on that reason instead of meandering your way through an entire morning and achieving nothing.
- The guest list. Don’t invite people for the sake of it; try to forget about office politics and only invite the people that really need to be there. We have all been to meetings where we aren’t sure exactly why we are there, it wastes everyone’s time.
- Ban or at least limit PowerPoint. PP can be a great tool to AID your meeting, but it shouldn’t dictate your meeting. Nothing is more boring that just watching someone read off sheet clicking through slides with far too much writing in them.
- Timing. Get everyone there on time and follow the agenda. Schedule meetings for specific amounts of time as well, if the meeting is going to take 20 minutes, then have a 20-minute meeting. You don’t have to have meetings in multiples of 30 minutes.
- Refreshments. Keep everyone well watered, and if it is first thing in the morning, well coffee’d. An alert group will take in more, and make the meeting pass more quickly.
- And last but most certainly not least! The environment. Where you have the meeting can make a huge difference to the productivity of that meeting. Natural light, interesting décor and comfortable furniture are just some of the factors that can make or break a meeting. Take a look at one of our favourite rooms for brainstorming meetings here.