How to host a good meeting in 6 steps
We are forever holding meetings. Whether it be a one-to-one with a boss, a full team catch up or a training event with a bunch of strangers, it’s great to sit down to brainstorm and work with others face-to-face. We get to decisions faster and we get to know our team better, so it’s no wonder we love a good meeting!
But, there can be down sides to meetings too, for example, they tend to overrun, sometimes they aren’t really necessary or they can go off topic and everyone goes away feeling it was unproductive. So, here are some simple steps you can take to make sure you get the most out of your meetings, be more efficient and not annoy or stress your team members who are taking the time to attend. Why not try out some of our tips below.
Step 1: Prepare yourself and those attending the meeting. Send out a calendar invitation with a start and end time, a location and an itinerary, clearly stating what individuals need to bring or be ready to discuss. There will always be someone who hasn’t read this properly so print this too, and have a copy to hand out to people when they arrive at the meeting.
Step 2: Dress the room so that your colleagues have no reason to need to leave during the meeting. Provide your meeting information document, spare paper and pens, water, hot drinks and snacks, and, if necessary, name badges.
Step 3: Starting and ending on time is important, especially if you work in a company that has a lot of meetings... If you always stick to your meeting times, people will be more willing to attend them and they will be less stressed and more focused for the allotted time, as they know accurately how long they will be away from their desk.
Step 4: As host, act as a chair for the meeting. That means being responsible for taking the meeting from chit-chat to business and bringing it back on topic if it floats onto another subject. If everyone got a chance to put across their full opinion, you’d be here all day so make sure you order the importance of the topics being discussed and keep the meeting productive.
Step 5: Take time to thank and credit people who have done well on projects as this creates good morale. When covering a new project, offer to provide further guidance with those involved, after this meeting, so as to use the meeting time efficiently and not waste time explaining something which not everybody needs to hear.
Step 6: Follow up after your meeting, within three days, by sending out the meeting’s minutes and pointers to what the next step is, whether it be another meeting (this is a good time to set a date for that) or tasks for individuals to complete. And lastly, thank people for attending the meeting because it doesn’t hurt to be nice, and this will make people more willing to come to your meetings in the future!
If you follow this 6 step process, you can look forward to a fuss-free and productive meeting, without off-topic ramblings, over-running and attendees whose minds are wondering to the 100 other things on their to-do list!
Do you have any other tips for us on how you keep your meetings on point? Why not drop us a comment below!