Meetings have a bad reputation but, like them or not, they are a necessary part of the creative process - to share information, collaborate and keep projects on track. Follow our simple rules to make your meetings more efficient and productive.
Respect the meeting start time
Start the meeting exactly when it’s supposed to start. If you wait for people who are five, ten or even fifteen minutes late, you are establishing a precedent that it’s okay to be late.
If a topic comes up that needs more discussion, but it’s better to break that off into a separate meeting, take a moment to say that. Then assign someone the task of making sure that meeting gets set up.
Stick to the agenda
Stick to your agenda and keep things moving, otherwise people presenting later in the meeting will get shortchanged or your meeting will run long.
End the meeting on time
There will be members of your group who need to get back to work or attend other meetings, so make sure your meeting ends when it was scheduled. Or even better, end the meeting early!
If you’re running the meeting, be engaged and listen at all times. If you don’t you’ll not only miss important information, you’ll embarrass yourself when you’re caught off guard.
No phones allowed
‘People who use mobile devices during meetings’ was the #1 complaint when we conducted an online survey about business meetings. Besides that, we can all see you staring your phone under the table and it’s rude.
Let people finish what they’re saying before you ask a question or contribute your own thoughts. As the meeting leader, you should also correct people who interrupt others when they’re speaking.
Check the tech
It’s frustrating when a meeting can’t start on time because group members can’t see the presentation or talk to each other. If you need to use collaborative tools during your meeting, give yourself enough time to figure out the technology in advance.
Don’t read your slides
Don’t read the agenda or any other supplemental materials, including presentation slides, out loud to your audience. Your role is to condense the information and tell a story.
Let people prepare
If you’re going to send out supplemental information and you expect people to review it in advance, make sure you give people enough time to go over it. If you send out a document five minutes in advance, no one will have time to review it.
Make it necessary
The best thing you can do to make your meetings more productive is to only hold them when you really need them. Cancel meetings, even recurring ones, if there is nothing to be discussed.
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