Meetings are a pain sometimes, but they are necessary for any plan to be successful. The Schultz Center for Teaching & Leadership believes that three key components make meetings exciting, engaging and overall productive.
Making a successful meeting doesn’t happen at the start of the meeting, it happens days , or even weeks, before! So let’s start there.
1) Planning the Meeting
Coordinating with all guests of your desired meeting is vital. You must make sure that everyone is available for the entire meeting, if not, there will be confusion in what you are attempting to accomplish. A good way to determine when everyone is available is to email an online poll to all guests and make sure they respond in a timely manner.
Once everyone has decided on a date and time that works for the group, its is time to notify attendees about the specific mission of the meeting. This will give everyone time to prepare properly. I recommend the person who called the meeting, send a group email designating specific information to each member. This will let each member know exactly what you’re expecting from them.
2) The Meeting!
The meeting day is finally here! What should you do?
You should send out a reminder email, to all requested attendees, 2 hours before the agreed meeting time telling them when the meeting is one last time, what the meeting mission is and what is expected from each attendee. This way everyone will be on time and fully prepared.
If people don’t show up on time, it will hinder the success of the meeting and any meetings ensuing your meeting. So, I suggest you begin on time, and anyone who attends late will have to catch up on covered information briefly after the meeting is concluded. Don’t worry, they shouldn’t be too lost because you sent out a detailed meeting mission prior to the meeting.
The meeting planner should open the meeting with a clear statement of what is to be accomplished.
- Are you gathering ideas for something?
- Are you trying to complete a project?
- Are you planning an event?
Let the group know specifically what you are trying to accomplish. This will give the meeting direction and drive.
Next delegate who speaks first, second, third and so on. This will let everyone be heard and make the collaborative process more organized and productive. If someone has something to add, and it’s not their turn to speak, ask them to please raise a hand to sign they need to say something.
3) Ending the meeting!
The meeting is finally over. What do you do now?
When ending a meeting it is smart to cover what the mission was, if it was accomplished, what needs to be done next and if there will be another meeting. I recommend when you’re stating what needs to be done that you go person-by-person so everyone knows what their tasks are.
Once you’re back at your office, send an email thanking everyone for attending the meeting and being engaged and productive. Also, add-in the summary of the meeting, tasks to be completed and the date, time and mission of the next meeting.
Following these three simple steps will ensure that your meeting will go better than planned because you’re not just organized, you’re also prompt, enthusiastic, appreciative and, of course, productive. These are all admirable qualities of a great leader.
Now we know that there’s a lot of things mentioned above that the meeting leader has to do, and it can become a tad overwhelming. That’s why the Schultz Center offers event planning and fully-equipped meeting rooms. We will do your planning for you and help you get through your meetings stress-free.