How To Conduct An Effective Business Meeting; Do’s And Dont’s
As a middle manager, chances are that you spend 35% of your work time in meetings.
On the flip side, top managers invest 50% of their time setting up and conducting meetings, both virtual and physical.
And when you take a keen look into it, most of these meetings don’t quite go as plan.
Some participants showing up 15 or more minutes late…
At times you just have to completely make a postponement.
So to speak, if you’re sick and tired of such and want to know how to conduct an effective business meeting; do’s and don’ts, you’re in the right place.
Let’s get into it so you can;
- Create a successful meeting strategy
- Spend less time doing what’s needed
- Make sure that everyone shows up
- Save time for other things that matter most.
Sounds great? Let’s dive in.
7 Do’s Of A Successful Business Meeting
- The right people for the right meeting; before making rounds with phone calls get one thing straight; is this meeting really needed? This should be answered honestly. You want to sit back, get to the bottom of the meeting’s purpose. Most of the time, what’s rather needed to be done is to send pieces of personalized emails to pass your message across once and for all. So, suppose sending mails or other virtual communication systems won’t do, then a real-life meeting may be inevitable. But again, you want to keep your circle small. And just according to Jeff Bezos, if a pizza isn’t enough to feed a number of meeting attendees, nothing great will come out of it. A good rule of thumb is to invite just the people you’ve concluded based on analysis to contribute hugely to the meeting’s bottom line.
- The right meeting room and the right time; transatlantic meetings are the most difficult to set up. Just at that time when some participants are rounding up for the day, others are just setting out. To come up with a schedule fashioned in a way that every participant shows up, send out a note to find out what time each participant would be available. Note that how much time you need to conclude the meeting should be as well considered. That will give you hindsight on whether this is a one-off or a recurring meeting. Proceeding this, figure a way to create a schedule that fits. Likewise, secure a meeting space that aligns with the number of participants.
- Prepare; this is essential, and I do mean really. Expectations, success criteria, agendas, essential meeting presentation and documents should all be defined. Are the attendees to bring their laptops and notepads to take notes? What are the problems to be solved and what fundamentals will the meeting cover? You want to stretch all of these out to ensure that your level of commitment toward the program is reciprocated to avoid a harsh reality. Also, ensure that all needed equipment for the program’s success is catered for upfront.
- Confirm, cancel conflict or rehearse; after etching the program’s details in your official invite and sending those out, send a follow-up out to each participant the day before the D-day. This will let you know if the meeting should be canceled or not judging by how much positive feedback you get. If positive, you want to go over the entire shebang for the last time. No great management wings a presentation out of the blue. So go ahead and rehearse your slides.
- Assign a leader and do the listening; while you may need a note-taker to do the minutes, you also need a meeting leader to coordinate the whole thing. This gives you the platform to invest your focus and energy into taking the presentation home. Needless to say, listen more than you speak, be mindful of different personalities, be polite, dress professionally, and know where to sit.
- Extra time; stay present, move around, talk confidently, know your audience, and stay on topic. While all of these matters just as following time constraint is, it is equally essential to leave out time for breaks. Mind you, another extra time should be left out for taking questions and answering them.
- Thanks, follow-ups on notes and actions; at the conclusion, thanking all attendees makes the difference. Also, share notes that cover the ideas, solutions, and actions bounce off of the presentation. This is best done via email with a request for feedback included.
5 Dont’s Of A Successful Business Meeting
Here are what not to do in a meeting…
- Don’t be negative; here’s how a meeting gets catastrophic; passing blames, being judgemental, and defensive. The best thing you can do is make sure that all feedback is constructive with positive reinforcement. Use a tone that fosters creativity and avoid speaking negatively about even a person that isn’t present at the location.
- Don’t get bossy/ don’t waste time; perhaps you just have to go through your slides immediately before the program to get rid of the fluffs to avoid wasting time on needless things. And while you try as much as possible to put the meeting on direction, don’t get bossy even when a group of members seems to be digressing needlessly.
- Don’t procrastinate; once the time, location, and the number of attendees have all been decided, stick to plan.
- Don’t be late; whether you’re the organizer or an attendee, shuffle your schedule in a fashion that nothing gets in the way of you getting to the meeting’s location right in time. And just so you get there late, because of some unforeseen circumstance, a big apology wouldn’t hurt, right?
- Don’t forget visuals; visuals are a way to establish an encouraging presentation environment. Play around with enough of them before the D-day and include the pictures in your invitation card to encourage even the unwilling participants.
Putting a successful meeting together may not be a walk in the park. With the right rules aligned with a ground-solid strategy, you can avoid the ditches and drive your presentation home. I believe I have just shown you the full-slide on how to conduct an effective business meeting. Drop your messages in the comments below if you miss something.