Pre-Work for your efficient meeting
The easiest way to lose control of a meeting is to not have a plan of attack for the meeting. This means knowing the purpose of the meeting. In other words, are you just informing people of a policy change, doing budget planning, or organising travel schedules? This will help you to determine who actually needs to attend. Do not invite people with no need to attend, as it is just a waste of their time. You can include them on the copy list so they know OF the meeting should they wish to attend, but not everyone needs to attend every meeting. Once you know exactly what needs to be accomplished during the meeting you can develop the agenda.
Most folks know what goes on an agenda (time/date/location of meeting) and there should usually be no more than 5 topic areas per meeting, this keeps people more focused during the meeting. There are some items on an agenda that should be paid particular attention. The time of the meeting should include the beginning AND the ending times for instance. This will indicate to attendees that you do understand that everyone is under time constraints and you are attempting to make sure their valuable “work” time is not taken up for too long. Make sure that there is a timeframe for each topic as well as time set aside for discussion should the meeting purpose warrant it. Also, make sure there is contact information for the person presenting the meeting and the individual organizing the meeting if it is not the same person as this gives the potential attendees a person to ask questions of prior to the meeting itself.
It is vitally important that you have someone taking notes for you during the meeting so any issues or questions that could not be addressed on the spot can be addressed at a later time, more on this later. It is also very important to make sure there is someone watching the time for you and signaling you when you time for each item is near an end. Arrange with this person ahead of time what signals will be used for 5min, 3min, 2 min, 1 min, and wrap-it-up. This may sound arduous and you may think you can be responsible for this, but during a meeting it is very easy to get sucked into a tangent and become very interested, this may even be a valid tangent, but needs to be addressed later. If a person separate from you is keeping time you will not go over your time allotted to each topic and your meeting will be more efficient.
Now the easy part, send the invites to the appropriate attendees with a copy of the agenda and prepare the materials for the meeting.
More to follow, stay tuned.
Sabrina loves it when her plans come together. With a young child in the house there are even more opportunities to plan and execute fun, stay tuned for all the details.