Most of us have been stuck in a boring meeting at some point in our lives. Some of us attend or run meetings regularly for business and personal ventures. It is always the hope that meetings are productive and inspiring for everyone in attendance. However, meetings can go bad quickly if the leader isn’t engaged, clear, and passionate about the topic. This is first conveyed by having a clear sense of purpose and goal in mind. Remember, practice is the first key to becoming a good meeting leader. Here are my top eight tips to get you started.
Know and Understand Your Objective
First, make sure that the meeting is needed and that you are prepared to effectively share your directive. Whether sharing information, gathering feedback, brainstorming ideas, or making decisions, be sure to convey your purpose for having the meeting upfront. Do this in a way that shows your passion and willingness to connect to each person in the room.
Get Everyone’s Input
One of the benefits of holding meetings is that they provide the opportunity for a variety of perspectives to be shared. But this only happens if everybody gets an opportunity to contribute. Ensure that your agenda is sent out in advance and that you specify the items that you will need input on so participants will be prepared. Staff Scheduling Software can help you get organized and give all the pertinent information to all involved.
When you begin the meeting, ask that people hold questions and comments until a specified time to keep things on track. It’s great that some people are energized by group discussions, but it’s easy to lose control of the meeting if you get off-topic. Several ideas could be written down on sticky notes or whiteboards as part of this process, for example, everyone can comment on an item around the table. If you want to make sure you want to get everyone there use
Be Clear and Concise with Facts
There will be opinions expressed about how to proceed or how to fix a problem at any meeting. And though it’s okay to express opinions and think out loud, when a decision needs to be made, it’s crucial to be clear and concise with facts and data. The facts can be written on the whiteboard or shown in a PowerPoint presentation to ensure they are not forgotten during open discussion. Maintaining clarity will ensure that the meeting stays on track and everybody gets the most out of their time.
Recap Information Periodically
A periodic recap is a good way to ensure everyone remains on the same page during a meeting. The agenda may present a list of decisions made so far, a list of tasks assigned, or a list of agenda items that must still be discussed. At the beginning of each recap, reference the meeting objective to keep people engaged and focused.
Meetings don’t always need to be decision-making sessions, but many of them are. There’s no point in repeating the same pieces of information and ending the meeting no further along than you were in the beginning. When more information is needed for a decision, assign someone to gather the information and present it at the next meeting or through another channel.
Make It Engaging and Inspiring
Keeping everyone engaged for an entire meeting can be a challenge for even the best speakers. It’s important to show some passion and personality during the course of the meeting to enlist interest and participation. It helps to use varied formats of presentation including visual, auditory, and even hands-on activities. Your meeting may also include activities requiring people to move around the room, whether they are small rewards for great ideas or facilitating a group discussion. Be sure to include points where people are encouraged to interact and pay attention to what is being discussed. When people enjoy themselves, it won’t be boring and it’s more likely to be successful.
Describe clearly what is expected to happen next and discuss the list of assignments and responsibilities at the end of the meeting. Let people know what they will need to do to prepare for the next meeting if there is another one scheduled. Summarize the purpose of the meeting and tell them what they need to accomplish. Make sure all participants and parties who need to be held accountable receive the minutes from the meeting.