Ahh yes, business meetings. Whether you love or hate them, many young professionals can’t live without them. In fact, the average working individual will spend 15 days a year in a workplace meeting. It’s pretty self-explanatory that no one wants to be in meetings this frequently, nor does a business want to halt daily operations this often. So, how does one fix this repeating cycle?
Here’s some tips to making your meetings shorter and more productive.
Duh, right? Well, how many times have you showed up to a meeting only to have the speaker fumble over their words or take forever to get to their point. A major sign of an unproductive meeting is one where the agenda feels like it was sloppily thrown together, or where one it’s provided whatsoever. If you’re in charge of planning a workplace meeting, make sure to cover every aspect of the agenda. Nothing is too careful; check your projectors for any errors, make sure Skype calls are running efficiently, etc. When it comes to meetings, it only takes one ” computer updates at 20%” to lose your audience.
Cut the Notes
Oftentimes, meetings will have a sort-of scribe, or note-taker recording all of the meeting minutes. Allow this person to actually learn from the meeting by taking this menial task away. Being in the 21st century, there are various options to recording meetings, some which let you hone in on specific words (so you can go back for valuable information). Although watching recordings may not give a person the chance to ask questions, or address immediate concerns, it will allow those who have deadlines to watch the meeting at a later time.
Create a Think Box
Ever get a super great idea during a conversation, but realize saying it out loud would throw everyone off topic? Yeah, no one wants to be that person. The only problem is, sometimes our best thoughts come to us when we least expect them to! So, if your company is still holding in-person meetings, create a “think box.” The purpose of the “think box” is to give everyone a chance to write down their off-topic thoughts and suggestions to store away in the box, until sharing time occurs. Sounds a bit kindergarten-ish, but it works! This method will have everyone feeling recognized as well as keeping your meeting on topic.
Let Content Determine Time
Ever a lot yourself extra time for a task, in the case you might need it? While it is always good to be over prepared, meeting times are not one of these occasions. For example, if you know that your presentation only has 20 minutes worth of content, don’t allow yourself extra “fluff” time. If you make it known that twenty minutes is all you have, your crew and you will be more likely to stick to the time frame. When you give yourself more time, you will subconsciously expand your presentation to that amount. Pretend you’re back in college and time is one of your rubric factors. You wouldn’t want to risk losing 10 points for going over!
Comment below with your best meeting tips and tricks!