Meetings: 5 Steps to Make Them More than Mediocre

June 12, 2012

Thanks to Flickr user clagnut for the photo!

Meetings are when your entire team comes together. In theory they should be like awesome + awesome + awesome, but then why is it that they always seem to add up to crazy bored x 4?

I honestly don’t think that meetings are innately evil (even if some of us have experiences that seem to point to the contradictory). I’ve attended meetings that were fabulously well-run, highly engaging and to the point. And I even walked away from them feeling better than I walked it. It is possible.

Tom Searcy, founder of Hunt Big Sales, and without a doubt, attendee of countless meetings, outlines 5 broad steps in making meetings more bearable. These are great to keep in mind whether you are running the meeting or even if you are attending. So, check it out:

  • Keep it short and sweet: 15 minute meetings are 50% more effective their 45 minutes or above counterparts. Have clear goals in mind for the meeting and don’t lose sight of them

  • Go easy on the info: only give as much information as is essential. Do you think your colleagues or employees might want to dig a little deeper? Send out a follow up email that gives them the valuable details, but on their own personal time

  • Get dynamic: attendee engagement ramps up 20% when they are the ones doing most of the talking. There is a complicated line to walk between engaging people and wasting their time, so I’ll be writing next week on how to achieve this balance and include worthwhile collaboration. Engagement often requires sophisticated planning, not on the fly inclusion.

  • Orchestrate the Ensemble: not only is speaker/attendee collaboration great for garnering more interest, it’s also fabulous because each person in attendance knows something valuable about your team, project, product or company. There is a time and a place to access their expert knowledge about their specific job, but when you’re able to identify the right time and the right person, the meeting becomes that much more valid and real

  • Get down, follow up: in the art of the follow up email, Searcy contests that 24 hours is your best bet. After that, connections made in the meeting begin to fade. So, make that final connection before the next meeting as quickly as possible, while remembering to keep the information essential and compact.

Tune in next week, when I’ll be focusing in on how to create a dynamic meeting without pulling out the dreaded ice-breakers and how to make your meetings sum up to awesome x 3!

Source: INC's Meetings Suck? Make Them Better

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