Meetings are the cornerstone of any effective business practice. At their best, they allow your team to harness ideas and creativity to solve problems, meet your clients’ needs and address any issues.
Of course, meetings can also be tedious, unproductive and drawn out—the phrase “bored to tears” comes to mind. But they don’t have to be such a slog. Here’s how to hold a painless meeting that gets real results—no tears required.
Make a Clear Plan and Objective
Make a clear and focused goal for what you want to convey or accomplish during the meeting, as this will set the trajectory for the rest of it. Create a specific timeframe so that the meeting doesn’t run long and cut into other important tasks, and invite only key personnel who can contribute or gain something relevant to your meeting itinerary. Issue a bulleted itinerary of talking points the day before so that everyone arrives at the meeting with an understanding of the agenda.
Control the Conversation
Meetings frequently get derailed by speakers who take the opportunity to bring up their own agendas or take the floor just because they like the sound of their own voice. Now is not the time to be polite as someone goes off-topic or drones on: productivity is at stake. If an employee or client starts to deviate from the topic at hand, remind them that this particular meeting is for their benefit and, therefore, you must stick to the agenda. Do make note of important issues that they bring up, however, so that you can address them when the time comes.
You can also ban unnecessary cell phone and laptop use—people might gripe, but it lessens distractions.
Find a Comfortable Space
Don’t underestimate the effect of your conference room environment on the meeting’s effectiveness.
A conference space that is too hot or cold will make employees tired or restless, and a cluttered one will also decrease productivity. Your conference room or office space for rent in Ocean County should have climate controls and comfortable furniture, and should be clean and odor-free.
After the meeting, don’t forget to follow up with everyone involved to make sure that they know what to take away from the discussion and what tasks, if any, they needed to complete.