6 Tips For Conducting Productive Business Meetings
Regardless of how small or big your organization is, business meetings will always be an essential aspect. It lets you keeps you tabs on how your business is going and how the staff is currently reaching its goals and objectives. It also allows everyone to gather together to discuss business updates and current problems, share solutions, and make collective decisions that are crucial to your organization’s growth.
Although business meetings are essential, it doesn’t mean that they’re always effective. Sometimes, when a meeting is poorly planned, or the person in charge is unprepared, the meeting ends up unproductive, and the attendees would either doze off during the meeting or lament about the wasted hour.
Thankfully, the following tips and strategies below will help you organize and conduct productive business meetings that can help both the person in charge and the attendees.
- Prepare Thoroughly
Before you set a meeting date and location, you must conduct the necessary preparations thoroughly. Failure to prepare beforehand is the primary reason most business meetings fail and end up being unproductive. So, take your time to plan the whole meeting using the following guide questions:
- Why do you want to have a meeting?
- What reasons, decisions, discussions, or events influenced you to plan this meeting?
- What are the points that should be discussed in the meeting? List them all down.
- What actions, solutions, or goals do you want to achieve from the meeting?
- Is the meeting really necessary, or are there other ways you can collect input?
- Should the meeting be done virtually (e.g., by phone call, video call, or email) or personally?
Another thing you must also prepare is the venue of the meeting. Even with a clear agenda or purpose, your attendees will have difficulty participating or paying attention at the meeting if the venue is full of distractions.
So, pick a place where you and your attendees can have the meeting privately with no disruptions. If you don’t have a designated meeting room in your business office, you may check this website and other workspace solution providers to help you find a suitable space to conduct professional meetings. Proper preparation is the key to conducting productive and successful business meetings.
- Set The Schedule
The time and date you choose to schedule your meeting can also influence the success of your business meetings. Remember, your employees’ time is precious, and inviting them for a meeting means asking them to cut off some of their working time for you.
Thus, when scheduling your meeting, ensure it’s an ideal time for everyone. For example, avoid scheduling meetings during the first hour of the business day or lunch hour of the day. These are the hours when some of your employees are either running late or having their lunch breaks. Generally, the ideal time to schedule meetings is in the middle of the morning or after lunch breaks in the afternoon.
- Start And End On Time
As much as possible, the meeting length shouldn’t exceed an hour. Better yet, you can limit it to 20 to 30 minutes. Lengthy meetings can be too stressful and often boring for everyone. Moreover, always remember to start and end your business meetings on time. Remember that most employees aren’t generally excited about meetings.
So, if a couple of your attendees fail to attend the meeting on time, you can start without them to promote and demonstrate the importance of punctuality in the workplace. Meanwhile, if the meeting’s scheduled end time is almost up and you’re still a few topics away from wrapping it up, you can reschedule the other agenda for the next meeting. This way, you can end the meeting on time and show your attendees your sincerity in sticking to the schedule.
- Set The Meeting’s Tone And Atmosphere
Not all business meetings have to be formal, especially if the agenda isn’t necessarily formal. So, if you’re hosting a formal meeting with a significant agenda, set the atmosphere in a serious tone by choosing a private and professional venue (e.g., a meeting room) and using some projectors or presentations during the discussions. Meanwhile, if the meeting or agenda is informal (e.g., planning a corporate event or company Christmas party), you may choose an outdoor meeting venue to lighten up the atmosphere.
- Encourage Everyone To Participate
Business meetings should be collaborative. Otherwise, if your attendees are not participating or sharing anything, they’re either bored, not paying attention due to the lack of agenda, or they’re not encouraged to put their ideas on the table. Eventually, it’ll look like your attendees are listening to and watching a monologue.
Thus, it’s up to you to encourage them to participate and communicate to get positive results and solutions from the meeting. Prepare some questions to hear everyone’s different answers and creative ideas. You can also start the meeting with exercises or icebreakers to energize employees and keep them engaged throughout the session.
You may also assign attendees to prepare presentations when giving updates about their departments. The more collaborative your meetings are, the more productive and successful they’ll be.
- Have Fun
Business meetings don’t always have to be dull and serious. Spice things up and bring more fun to your meetings by incorporating games like:
- Guess the picture
- ‘Would you rather?’
- Scavenger hunt
- Show and tell
You may also distribute some fun snacks and beverages during the meeting, like fries, nachos, fruit juices, and others. When people see you as the host who conducts fun and productive meetings, they’ll always look forward to every meeting.
Business meetings will take some preparation and proper planning to be productive, effective, and successful. So, use these tips above when planning your next meeting, and watch your attendees become more engaged and collaborative during your fun and productive business meetings.