Business meetings are known for being a bit boring, and sometimes unorganized. They can also run late and long without giving attendees an authentic opportunity to engage the process. Company leaders have to ensure events are productive and keep employees engaged and informed. Below are six tips to consider that can help manage any business meeting at little better.
List Your Objectives
Set a meeting agenda as far in advance as possible. Create a document such as a spread sheet with a list of attendees and objectives. There are several excellent software programs that allow information to be shared among groups online. Keep information updated until the meeting is held. You might also consider using the meeting as a training and going over finer points of the process everyone does every day.
Scrutinize objectives before gathering them, and look for creative ways to deliver them. Presentations have a big impact on group synergy, and can generate solutions to problems. Make sure it engages with the attendees and offers them a chance to input ideas. It is also important to have a few tentative resolutions to use as a catalyst.
Time Your Presentations
Invite other team members to address their areas of expertise as they pertain to the topic. SMEs exist in every office, and they are good resources. Give them ample lead time to prepare so they can present their best suggestions. Establish the amount of time allotted for each speaker to keep presentations succinct and on-track.
Get It In Writing
Draw from the agenda to create an outline that will be distributed to everyone. While the spreadsheet is the source document, it can be a bit cumbersome when time constraints are in place. Be sure to include a section for notes as a way for individuals to write down any inspirations. This can also keep meetings short when information that wasn’t covered is still listed and available.
Open up the Floor
Check in with all attendees before, during, and at the end of the meeting to see if there are questions, concerns, and comments. This can be based on a time criteria, or as a way to harness the ebb and flow of engagement. Productive meetings are the ones where higher participation is observed. Opening the floor to everyone is a way to ensure this occurs.
Set-up a ‘parking lot’ or space to write unanswered questions that are raised. A whiteboard or paper easel that is large enough for all to see is a solid idea. This information could be addressed at the end of the meeting, or as in most cases, at the next meeting. Taking detailed notes on each question and managing the ‘parking lot’ can be assigned to rotating members.
The size of the group in your meetings will dictate the specific tips to use. However, each one can be included in a strategy that manages a variety of meeting scenarios. The skills acquired with a masters in project management online degree program can help refine these processes and give you a leg up in these meetings as well. One last tip is to start and end each meeting with a cordial tone to show desired meeting culture, and make it something employees look forward to.