Running an efficient meeting.
I don’t know a lot of people who actually like to attend meetings. Most of the complaints centre on the length of the meeting versus the amount of work accomplished or the individual could be “doing ‘real’ work during the time that ‘useless meeting’ took place”. I know I have been in many meetings that I really wanted to just get up and leave during them as their seemed to be no point to the meeting other than to plan the next meeting. Having an efficient meeting is not always easy but those who attend always appreciate it.
What is most important to an efficient meeting is a plan. The purpose of the meeting helps a lot in the development of “the Plan”. The individual having the meeting (or their Virtual Assistant) needs to do a little pre-work, during, and post-work the whole thing can run more smoothly.
Pre-work involves making an agenda and distributing it to the people attending the meeting. It also involves making sure someone at the meeting will take notes and keep time- this can be the same person, but it is easier if it is not. So, bring some support staff to the meeting with you if you are able. If you are not able to bring your own staff prearrange with an attendee to be timekeeper and note taker, this helps to engage the attendees, or at least two of them.
Start your meeting on time even if everyone has not yet arrived; this will help ensure the meeting doesn’t go overtime. Make sure you end the meeting at the published ending time and for efficiencies sake, during the meeting keep to the agenda. This is difficult as it is easy to take off on a tangent and sometimes difficult to bring attendees back to the topic at hand. This is the most dangerous part of a meeting and the reason there is a plan and a timekeeper. There are many creative ways to make sure people concentrate during the meeting and stick to the topic at hand, I will explore these further on a different post.
Post meeting work should be fairly straightforward. Write-up the minutes of the meeting and distribute them to the attendees. Make sure you or your assistant distribute a “working” copy initially and allow for comments and feedback from attendees after the comment period has reached its expiry, publish the “official” copy of the minutes including any comments or additions from the individuals in attendance.
This is a very basic outline of what it takes to run a meeting efficiently as each section really deserves its own post I shall more fully explore each area; pre-work, during the meeting, and post work, in future posts so 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.