How To Make Your Meetings More Productive

Take a glance at your work calendar. If you’re like most people, then the odds are good your week is filled with meetings. Take another look: this time, at last week’s calendar. How many of those meetings can you recall what they were about? Many times, unnecessary meetings are called, even when an email or quick one-on-one chat would have sufficed instead. Or people are invited who won’t benefit from the meeting. These practices are unproductive, time-consuming, and financially wasteful. Think of all the man-hours lost in unnecessary meetings that could have been used to sell products or contact clients or deliver services. If you want to take back your day, read on to learn how to make your work meetings more productive for everyone.

Be prepared.

Create an agenda and review what you’ll discuss beforehand. Too many times, it seems like people call meetings and then come up with what they’ll discuss on the fly. This is both a bad leadership practice and poor time management practice. When you do things like this, you’re not respecting your coworkers’ time. Make sure you know what you want to convey beforehand. If you’re giving a presentation, practice it until it feels comfortable. If you’re hosting a brainstorm session, be prepared with ice breakers or prompts to get those juices flowing.

Keep on track.

If you’re in charge of the meeting, remember this: stick to the important points. As much as we all wish we were comedians or motivational speakers, sometimes that’s just not the case. Don’t digress from your important agenda by spending five minutes telling an unrelated story or joke. And if you see people on their phones scrolling through social media, then that means you’re losing your audience.

Don’t run out the clock.

When you have a 30-minute meeting scheduled, it can be tempting to fill in all available time to you. It’s human nature. However, if the information you have only takes up 20 minutes of presentation time, don’t waste your time or others with an additional 10 minutes of fluff. Don’t be controlled by the clock; instead, finish the meeting at its natural endpoint.

Work on your delivery.

Sometimes it’s the superficial details that matter more than the content. You might be presenting on highly important information, but if your presentation manner is monotone or mumbling, your message will be lost because of the way it was conveyed. Remember to modulate your tone. If need be, time yourself to ensure you’re not speaking too fast or too slow.

Think outside the box.

Not that all meetings are bad. Your regular touch-bases with your direct reports are necessary. But consider whether you can change those up a little as well? For instance, maybe instead of staying in the same meeting room, you and your direct reports could take a walking meeting. You’ll come up with extra ideas as you move about, plus you’ll both naturally feel more comfortable and open up more than you might otherwise, it sets a friendly and open tone.

Do you want to take the above tips and incorporate a more personalized approach for your particular business? Contact me here to learn how.