Want to learn how to run effective meetings? In the corporate world, meetings feel like a necessary evil. They are useful for project reports, new processes, and presenting other information to employees and associates. However, when mismanaged, meetings are redundant, irrelevant, and waste time.
Effective meetings are well organized for productive time management. This includes remote meetings with Zoom when it is necessary to keep distant employees actively engaged in the business.
Consider the following steps for scheduling an effective meeting:
- Determine the objectives and importance of the meeting.
- Set a clear agenda.
- Set a definite time frame.
- Decide who will be asked or required to attend.
- Prepare materials, audio-visuals, and other information in advance.
Objectives and Agenda
An effective meeting manager informs all attendees about the purpose of the meeting. The leader sets goals and prepares an agenda.
People know why they must be there, and the topics to be covered. They may need time to prepare for the meeting with any necessary data related to the agenda.
Establish a Time Frame
Give attendees at least a week’s notice regarding the meeting date. Let people know that the meeting will start on time. They should know that the meeting has a definite end time. Most busy employees consider the less time spent in a meeting, the better.
Business consultants recommend mid-morning as the best time to schedule a meeting. Employees are in the office by this time. Remote workers in the same time zone should be at their computers. Meetings that include remote workers in different time zones should be at a time that everyone can participate.
Discuss matters that are important and urgent. Follow with other information that is important, but not urgent. Delete anything superfluous. Stick to the agenda to stay within the given time period.
There may be a scheduled time for questions and answers. Listen respectfully but do not go off in different directions within a conversation.
Determine Who Should Attend
Create a list of people who should attend the meeting. Let them know why their presence is required. Reference any necessary shared documents that they can view, edit or respond to.
This may be the type of meeting where you delegate assignments to participants. Or, the people attending present information on past assignments. The leader of the meeting should indicate how much time each person has to keep the event within the established timeframe.
Audio Visuals and Other Materials
PowerPoint presentations, brochures, and other printed handouts must be ready prior to the meeting. New product demonstrations must be set up before the meeting.
All audio and visual information should work. Set up computers and other A/V equipment and rehearse your presentation prior to the meeting. This is not the time to fumble with a PowerPoint demonstration or search for a misplaced new product.
In-Person and Remote Meeting Mix
This is new era changes the way we conduct business. Many people can work remotely. Some employers require others to be onsite at a project location, yet they must attend meetings. Require remote workers to sign in prior to the meeting. Their participation is as important as the people working in the office.
Lastly, publish a brief synopsis of the meeting online after the event to keep all employees informed. Good communication is essential for a positive, high-performance organization.
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