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How to Run an Effective Meeting

Here are some tips to run effective meetings

Always Know the Objective of the Meeting

Discuss progress report from prior meeting-

  • Start with and stick to the agenda. “The purpose.. the process… and the payoff for you is..” “We’re here to…” “The objective of today’s meeting is to…” “I have 3 objectives for us to cover today #1.. #2… and #3…” “The purpose of this meeting is…” “The next point to be decided is…”
  • Control interruptions. Keeping your audience engaged and attentive will go a long way towards maintaining control. Not boring them helps too!
  • Accomplish your purpose. Start with your desired outcome and then reverse engineer the presentation. Have a specific purpose for the meeting. Is it to generate creative alternatives, analyze a problem, arrive at a decision, coordinate, inform?
  • Summarize your main points, restate conclusions and assignments. Insure agreement and provide reinforcement.
  • End on time. Adjourn the meeting as scheduled so that participants can manage their own time. Placing the most important items at the start of the agenda insures that only the least important will be left unfinished.
  • An evaluation checklist gives you the opportunity to critique the meeting.

Everyone should be able to answer these before departing:

  • Was the message & purpose of the meeting clear?

  • Was an agenda received in advance of the meeting?

  • Was there any preparation required of you before arriving?

  • Did the event start and end promptly as you had expected?

  • Did the day’s events stay on track or did certain areas seem to drift?

  • In your understanding, was a clear and direct purpose actually achieved?

  • Do you feel the time given to this effort was worthwhile & productive?

  • Evaluations which remain anonymous, are collected & immediately reviewed.

The Fortune is in the Follow Up

  • Follow up material may be given to the attendees immediately after or in the days concluding the meeting. Information and event happenings can be included so that every attendee is able to recall helpful information covered during the meeting whenever there is a need.
  • Reports with a follow-up initiative including ideas and actions that were discussed during the meeting will be compiled. If any topic of business was either not concluded or would require further action, this will be noted. A progress report will serve to record this information in order to discuss how things have moved forward or if they require further action.
  • Check all groups and committees formed and organized to achieve goals or objective. Verify their usefulness and either convene them or empower them to continue.
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