19 Timeless Tips To Keep Meetings Short
|Thorough meeting preparation alleviates anxiety. Good planning guarantees that meetings are relevant, don’t overrun and aren’t held back by uniformed, boring or disinterested attendees. Follow these 19 timeless tips to keep your meetings on track and on time.
When preparing your agenda…
|1.||Identify the aim of your meeting|
|2.||Put the most important items first|
|3.||Establish a clear outcome for each point|
|4.||Judiciously choose meeting invitees. Ask yourself, “Who should attend?” “Should attendees be present for all or just part of the meeting?”|
|5.||Place controversial points towards the end so the early part of the meeting can flow smoothly|
|6.||If you work for a large organization and not everyone knows each other there may be a need for very short introductions. Schedule time for people to quickly share, “Who I am, my role in the company and why I’m here.”|
|Distribute a specific agenda at least one week before the meeting. Make sure that everyone attending has all the information they need and that presenters know exactly how much time they are allotted. When circulating the agenda, state that the meeting will start sharp and end on time. This will subtly set the tone for an efficient meeting. Obviously, it is critical that the meeting chair sticks to the timeline.
The meeting day…
Unfortunately, well-planned meetings can be derailed by meeting participants. If you have an assertive meeting chair, s/he can easily get the meeting back on track. However, anyone can step in if they have confidence or organizational clout.
To ensure your valuable time isn’t usurped by an endless meeting, communicate in advance that you are only available for the scheduled meeting time and politely excuse yourself if the meeting runs overtime. It is your right to leave.
Start and end your own meetings on time and develop a reputation for short, well-organized gatherings. Your colleagues will respect you and contribute much more when they feel you value their time.