Advice for effective meetings

Execute a flawless meeting every time by following these tips.

Before your meeting

Decide who needs to be involved

Not everyone in your department needs to be involved in every discussion. Make informed decisions before you send that meeting invitation. Only include people whose input is essential or whose jobs are directly affected.

Create and distribute an agenda

List all agenda items in priority order and with an approximate time allocation. You could also ask team members to suggest agenda items. Distribute the agenda ahead of the meeting so that people have time to prepare.

Pick a convenient date and time

Choose a date and time when everybody who needs to be involved is free. A meeting which can’t reach its conclusion due to absenteeism is just wasted time. Allow adequate time to discuss each of the points in your agenda.

Set meeting goals

You should have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve over the course of the meeting. What measurable goals do you want to accomplish? Set an objective and work out how you plan to achieve this goal during the meeting.

During your meeting

Stick to your agenda

Make sure that all discussions during the meeting move you closer to your goals. The better the meeting is structured, the more likely your team will be engaged and work toward the goal successfully.

Seek input from your team

If you want your team to be engaged in meetings, try to stimulate free-flowing discussion and open debate. Avoid dominating the conversation and make sure everyone has a chance to be heard.

Take minutes

This is a great way to record basic information such as the actions assigned and decisions made. They can be saved and used for future reference or as background material for future meetings relating to the same topic.

Identify action points

Clearly outline any action points that come out of the meeting and make sure the responsible party is aware of their task. Decide together on an estimate of how long the task should take and don’t forget to follow up on its progress.

After your meeting

Distribute the minutes

Minutes should be written up and circulated to the relevant team members as soon as possible. Distributing minutes reminds people of their responsibilities and keeps everyone informed about the decisions and plans made during the meeting.

Follow up on action points

Make sure any team members responsible for follow-up tasks are aware of their duties. Ensure the tasks are underway, keep track of their progress, address any hurdles and ensure the task can be completed within the agreed time.

Ask for meeting feedback

Ask your meeting participants what they felt worked well or didn’t work well during the meeting. Use this feedback to continually improve the structure and outcomes of your future meetings.

Start the agenda for your next meeting

the meeting to create the agenda for the next meeting using an agenda template. This will save you having to find the last set of minutes just before the next meeting.

How conferencing can help

Save time

Time is one of the most valuable assets for businesses. Groups need to be able to come to a unanimous decision, sometimes with a limited amount of time. Instead of wasting time travelling interstate or internationally to meetings, you can connect your team and make decisions quickly no matter where the guests are located via an audio conference or video conference.

Save money

Travelling to face-to-face meetings is expensive and unnecessary. You can vastly reduce this expense by using audio and web conferencing. Video conferencing allows you to meet face-to-face from the comfort of your own office or home, so you don’t lose that visual link to your guests and can still read their body language. You can also share screens, documents and applications.

Save the environment

Travelling to meetings injects harmful greenhouse gasses directly into the stratosphere, which causes untold damage to Earth. By participating in meetings remotely rather than everybody travelling to be in the same place, you will be able to significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Increase productivity

Audio and web conferencing promotes communication for businesses and teams, no matter the distance between them. Having easy access to lines of communication between teams is important in today’s workforce. make important decisions anytime, anywhere.

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