Seven tips for running highly effective meetings

Meetings. We’ve all been in a meeting and wondered why we’re there, what it’s about, and if it’s an effective use of time. Conducting a good meeting is essential. When you work out the time involved in people attending, whether online or in person, the staff costs can be considerable. Use these seven simple tips to… Read more »

Meetings. We’ve all been in a meeting and wondered why we’re there, what it’s about, and if it’s an effective use of time.

Conducting a good meeting is essential. When you work out the time involved in people attending, whether online or in person, the staff costs can be considerable.

Use these seven simple tips to ensure you run good meetings.

1. Identify the purpose of holding the meeting in the first place. What do you want to get out of this meeting?

2. Who needs to be there and why? If it’s just to communicate a message or idea, are there better ways to do this?

3. Set the agenda. I find creating a simple agenda and sending out a couple of days beforehand gives people time to prepare beforehand. A minute-taker helps on the day and just minute the key action points to keep it clear and concise. Depending on the type of meeting called, as if it’s for a charitable or public body, more detail may be required.

4. Consider the environment where the meeting will be held. If it’s face-to-face rooms offering good lighting and adequate ventilation will have a positive effect. If you’re restricted on choice think about hiring a room.

5. Supply refreshments. Make sure there are adequate drinks and some food, even if it’s simply some biscuits. Our brain may only weigh 5 percent of our body weight, but it takes up 20 percent of our energy so it’s important to stay hydrated and energised.

6. Think about the best time and day of the week for a meeting so the energy in the room is good and attendees aren’t looking to get away at the end of a long day. Keep to the agenda and if something is taking over the meeting, refer it to be discussed at another time and to report back. Stick to timings and find something to celebrate either at the start or at the end to create a positive note.

7. Ensure people are heard and their opinion counts. Ask everyone in the room for their input; otherwise, why are they there? If a way forward can’t be agreed, paraphrasing a summary of the discussion is good way to move onto the next agenda item. I’ve seen a former chair use this tactic to good effect.

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