Getting the Most Out of Your Meetings

I think it’s safe to say that most people don’t look forward to, or enjoy, business meetings. That doesn’t negate their necessity though. The good news is that meetings don’t have to be something to dread. There are some key elements to getting the most out of business meetings… for you and everyone else.

Time is precious and we have too little of it. You, as well as your employees or business associates, need to work efficiently. So the first thing to be sure of, when scheduling a meeting, is the day and time of day you conduct the it. Since many employees take Monday’s and Friday’s off, or are in weekend mode, they probably aren’t the best days to have a pow-wow. Mid-morning or mid-afternoon are the most productive times of day when i comes to these sessions. First thing in the morning, people are getting caught up and settled in. Mid-afternoon’s prove a good time as people generally get their second wind by then. And speaking of time, be sure your meetings begin on time. It shows disrespect to keep people waiting and can make it a more stressful experience.

Once you have a time set, be sure to have an agenda mapped out. Know exactly what you want to cover and allow time for people to have input. Too often, we go into a meeting with a sketchy outline and end up with a scattered meeting with no flow. A disorganized agenda leaves you with the feeling that you’ve accomplished nothing. In addition, your audience is unclear about the message you are sending.

Often times, various other topics arise during a meeting. This can make for a longer session than you planned for as well as fogging the original reason for it. You want people to feel valued, so don’t dismiss what someone is trying to address. When your counterparts are taken seriously, they claim ownership and have more interest. Write down subjects that couldn’t be covered, or have someone else do that for you. It can be top of your list the next time.

Some aspects of your presentation may not be exciting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it stimulating. Your energy needs to be up as does your enthusiasm. Sometimes you’ll need to fake that, but you may even make things fun for yourself and turn your own demeanor around. Include everyone in the room! Your connection to them makes all the difference and they’ll feel a part of things. Giving praise at your meetings also has an enormous response.

Have fun! There are many ways from having a theme for your meeting to giving people silly name tags. Your peers/employees might actually look forward to meetings to see what you’re going to do next. If this isn’t your strong suit, who in your space would be good at that and enjoy it? Utilize the talent you have at your fingertips. Before you know it, your meetings will become more of an event!

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