hosting an effective meeting

Hosting An Effective Meeting: Useful Tips From The Pros

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Any manager will know the importance of regularly thinking about their staff. This may involve looking for signs of workplace discrimination or hosting meetings to gain feedback. Meetings are an important part of any business because they allow for communication and collaboration, and can help to move projects forward. If they’re not done correctly, however, they can be a waste of time and resources. In this article, we’ll provide some tips from the pros on how to host effective meetings.

Create An Agenda

An agenda is simply a list of topics or issues to be discussed during a meeting. It helps participants prepare for the discussion and makes sure that everyone stays on track. The agenda should be sent out before the meeting so that participants have time to review it and think about any questions they might have.

If you’re chairing the meeting, it’s your responsibility to make sure that everything on the agenda is covered. You can do this by keeping track of time and making sure each topic is given enough space for discussion. If there are any items on the agenda that won’t be covered during the meeting, make a note of them so that they can be addressed at a later date.

Make Sure Everyone Feels Relaxed

It’s important to realize that if your team is tense, the meeting will be tense. If you want your meeting to be effective, you need to make sure that everyone’s feeling calm from the start. This includes having a comfortable meeting room and ensuring people aren’t arriving in ‘defense mode’. By sending your agenda in advance, you’ll have helped people know what to expect.

If you start with an icebreaker or a fun activity, it will help everyone to let loose and relax a bit before getting down to business. Icebreakers can be effective whether everyone knows each other or not. There are specialist websites containing icebreaker questions to get your team really talking, using ‘would you rather’ or ‘if’ questions. There are also icebreaker generator tools and guidance on how to use them to build your team’s communication skills.

Prepare The Room In Advance

This will ensure that the meeting runs smoothly and that everyone’s comfortable. Here are some practical tips:

• Check the room’s vacant and not double-booked.
• Make sure the room’s clean and tidy before guests arrive.
Set up any necessary equipment, such as a flipchart, laptop, projector, or whiteboard.
Ensure that there are enough chairs (and space) for everyone.
Place name cards at each seat so that people know where to sit.
Make sure the temperature’s comfortable.
Provide access to drinks, and food/snacks if applicable

By taking these simple steps, your guests will appreciate your attention to detail and will be more likely to take the meeting seriously. Plus, there’ll be fewer distractions or issues to waste people’s time.

Start And End Promptly

When you start and end punctually, it shows that you respect other people’s time – and in turn, they’ll be more likely to respect yours! If the meeting is slow to start, it can set a negative tone for the rest of the discussion. If you don’t begin immediately, people will assume it’s okay to arrive late. For really brief meetings, you could insist on standing-room only. This would dissuade people from getting off the point and wasting time.

Once the official business is wrapped up, it’s tempting to let the conversation continue further. But if you want people to leave feeling good about the meeting, it’s best to end things on a high note. Both you and your staff have other things to do, so move on and remain disciplined. If necessary, set an alarm to make sure the meeting doesn’t overrun.

Facilitate, Don’t Dominate

The goal of a meeting is to accomplish something, whether it’s making a decision, sharing information, or brainstorming ideas. The facilitator’s job is to keep the meeting moving forward so that the attendees can do their jobs. This means keeping the discussion focused and on track, and preventing any one person from monopolizing the conversation. It encourages communication from people who are quiet/shy and also means being flexible and accommodating when necessary.

Your goal is to help everyone achieve the meeting’s objectives, not to control the discussion or make all the decisions yourself. If you find yourself dominating the conversation, take a step back and allow others to contribute.

Once you’ve accomplished what you set out to do in the meeting, it’s time to end with a call to action. This could be something as simple as assigning follow-up tasks to attendees or setting a date for the next meeting. Whatever it is, make sure everyone knows what needs to be done and who is responsible for doing it.

Take Notes And Distribute Them Afterward

It’s important that a designated person take notes during the meeting. If you’re hosting, it’s advisable to delegate this to someone else, so you can focus on your task. By taking notes, it will allow everyone to remember what was discussed after the meeting’s over. There may also have been key people who were unable to attend (e.g. unwell or in another meeting), in which case this information will prove invaluable.

As for distributing the notes, send them out as soon as possible after the meeting. This allows everyone to review what was discussed and ensure that they’re on track with any action items they may have been assigned. If your team is remote, consider using a collaboration tool like Google Drive or Dropbox so that everyone has access to the most up-to-date version of the notes.

In order for your meetings to be truly productive, make sure you invite the right people! It’s also important to follow up with any action items that come out of the meeting. By putting these useful tips into practice, you’ll be able to host your meetings more effectively than ever. They’ll become a key tool that supports the increasing success and expansion of your company.