Sitting in a meeting without a detailed, time-bound agenda is akin to drifting through outer space.
Will your group arrive safely at a worthwhile destination? Is anyone steering this thing? How long will this journey last? Will we be done in time for lunch? Whaddya mean Pluto’s not a planet?
An infographic published on The Business Backer offers a helpful roadmap for those interested in conducting efficient, effective meetings.
Here are five of its tips:
1. Begin by reviewing the agenda. The infographic recommends “using the first item to call for any necessary changes to the agenda.” The world can change in a matter of minutes, so it’s wise to leave a bit of time at the top to pivot or reprioritize items as needed.
2. State desired outcomes. What, exactly, have we all assembled for? Make sure that each agenda item has an action point tied to it, such as a decision a status update or a plan to exact sweet revenge on the Marketing Department.
3. Give realistic times. Instead of allotting 30 minutes for each point, provide a thoughtful estimation of how much time each item truly merits. Don’t give Sammy’s sandwich grievance or Paula’s parking complaint more airtime than it deserves.
4. Identify a leader for each item. Make sure someone is responsible for each agenda item or discussion section. Giving someone the reins over a certain topic prevents time-sucking tangents and tamps down on ancillary conversations.
5. End with highs and lows. Before everyone scatters, take a minute to assess the effectiveness of your meeting. What went well? What needs tweaking or improvement?
Whether via survey, feedback form or direct conversation, collect opinions that can be used to streamline future meetings.
For more advice on how to conduct better, more efficient meetings, review the rest of The Business Backer’s infographic.