Despite the fact almost none of us actually put them into practice there are a host of great and not-so-great meeting productivity tips out there to help you have better meetings.
In true Amazemeet fashion we tell it like it is as we’re committed to helping you have better meetings. We’ve scoured the web and pulled together the best meeting productivity tips we could find and also busted a few myths along the way. There are a lot out there so we’ve picked on three from people you’ll hopefully recognise.
The New York Times sums it up pretty well with their three rules for running great meetings:
- Set the agenda. Define the purpose of the meeting and what the meeting is designed to achieve. Pretty obvious but we know from experiences that many meetings start without any clear agenda.
- Start on time, end on time. Again sage advice, ensuring all attendees start on time is good discipline, it shows people take the meeting seriously. Ending on time is also a great discipline, it focuses the meeting on objectives and hopefully ensures the meeting doesn’t veer off on a tangent.
- End with an action plan. What are the next steps, who’s responsible for the follow up and who will check if it’s done. Unless the actions and responsibilities are clear what’s the point of meeting in the first place.
These are simple meeting productivity tips and something to build upon but they focus on the key meeting elements. We’d give them a 6/10. They only fall down on the attendees side and time keeping. We believe it’s vital to ensure all attendee’s are there to contribute and employees feel empowered to say no to a meeting they can’t contribute to. We also suggest that specific discussion topics are assigned a section of the overall time limit, it helps keep the focus.
Next up is this offering from Forbes, 7 great meeting productivity tips. Let’s dive in.
- Make your objective for the meeting clear.
- Consider who is invited, can they add value?
- Stick to the schedule, assign discussion elements a time limit.
- Don’t let individuals dominate the conversation. Some people like to talk more than others but this can stifle the contribution of others. After all everyone in the meeting should be there to add value, otherwise why are they there?
- Start on time, end on time. We’ve seen this somewhere before 😉
- Ban technology, keep the focus on the meeting.
- Follow up. It’s vital
Great tips and getting there! The technology aspect is interesting because a little day dream can actual help the ideas flow. In fact we wrote a post on this, read it here. Overall 7/10.
Last up in our canvas of the best tips is from Slack. The guys and girls over there have really outdone themselves. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
First up they have some great advice to actually avoid having meetings. Focussing in on presentations and status updates. The former can be streamlined by sending slides in advance and taking time to engage the audience when most of the talking is being done by one person. The second they advocate scrapping and using a messaging service to accomplish what these meetings set out to achieve. It’s a great idea even if slightly self serving!
Next they advocate getting the agenda in place early, inviting the right people and asking them in advance if they feel attending will add value. They set out an easy way for people to say no. They then go on to say how you can keep people enaged through the meeting and how attendees should be assigned roles. This is agreat idea so you have a pre-defined facilitator and a note taker, especially important.
They also go on to describe the kind of time frames you should aim for and the environment you should seek out for the most productive meetings. They really think of everything. Lastly they describe the follow up, why it’s important and how it’s policed.
A definate 9/10. Great job Slack.
In most cases the advice on tap is pretty good. It misses some of the key points but it’s obvious how large organisations have cottoned on to the fact that meetings cost money and stifle productivity. Amzemeet is aiming to change this. A simple tool that helps you plan and execute better meetings, cutting out the crap and getting down to what really matters.