7 tips for an efficient meeting

Have you too ever got the impression that you have wasted your time in a meeting? Companies organize lots of meetings, sometimes when they are not really necessary.

Here are a few tips to help you make meetings more efficient.

1.    Are we meeting for the right reason?
Some meetings are useless because they are not organised for the right reason? If you want to organise a meeting yourself, always start by asking yourself if the meeting represents value added for the project on which you are working at this particular point in time. There may be better alternatives to a meeting. If somebody invites you to a meeting and you don’t know whether you can contribute usefully, ask if it is really necessary for you to be present.

2.    Set a clear structure
Meetings must be based on a clear structure. The objectives and expected results of the meeting should be clear from the start. The aim of the meeting should be clear for all taking part to ensure everyone stays on topic. The person in charge of the meeting must keep his objective in sight and try not to go off topic.

3.    Send out the agenda
To make sure the meeting stays on track, it is important to establish a clear agenda. So send out the agenda to all those taking part so that they know exactly what the meeting will be about.

4.    Produce a PowerPoint presentation
If you need to touch on a number of subjects and those taking part need a lot of basic information in order to follow, produce a simple PowerPoint presentation containing the essential points. If you are taking part in a meeting, follow the slides on the screen and attempt to understand them.

5.    Take minutes
Make sure somebody is taking minutes of the meeting. It is interesting for all those taking part to produce a written report of what was discussed and decided after the meeting. This means everything is clear to everyone and there cannot be any confusion as to the result of the meeting. Have you taken part in in a meeting? Make sure you read the minutes you receive carefully.

6.    Do not drag it out
Keep to a given time and don’t let the meeting drag on unnecessarily. If you reach a conclusion within the first 5 minutes, simply close the meeting. If the meeting takes a long time, include regular breaks. Everyone will return to the meeting with more focus.

7.    Allow time for questions
Allow time for questions at the end of the meeting. The decisions taken need to be clear for everyone and so everyone should have the opportunity to ask questions. If you are taking part in a meeting, do not hesitate to ask your questions, even if it means interrupting the meeting.

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