Meetings. They can be the worst. Dragging on, not achieving anything and wasting time that would be better spent washing the dog.
But how do you make sure your meetings are effective and meet expectations?
The most important aspect of planning and calling a meeting is understanding what sort of outcomes is required. Is it;
- Attendees having a better understanding of a topic?• Coming to a decision?
- Generating ideas?
- Developing a plan or strategy?
Whatever the reason, as the Chair, you should be able to state what the meeting objective is. Once you understand the end point, the goal, you can start to plan your meeting.
Drafting an agenda:
Nobody wants to have their time wasted. Meetings bring together professionals who are busy people. One way of thinking about meeting agendas timeframe is considering the people around the table.
For example, if you have 5 of your Managers at a 1-hour meeting, that’s 5 hours of other work and wages around the table.
If one person is 20 minutes late, that’s an additional 1.6 hours, bringing the total to 6.6 hours of management work and wages, used for one meeting.
Preparing a detailed agenda will make sure your meeting runs on time and achieves its goals. We’ve included a template at the bottom of the page because we’re all about making enterprise easier.
Once you’ve identified your meeting goal, write it at the top of the agenda. It’s the purpose of why you’re getting together.
To prepare an agenda, consider the following factors:
- Priorities – what has to be covered?
- Results – what needs to be accomplished at the meeting?
- Participants – who needs to attend the meeting for it to be successful?
- Timing – how much time will spend on each topic?
- Date and time – when will the meeting take place?
- Place – where will the meeting take place?
Once you have an idea of what needs to be discussed and for how long you can put it into your agenda for circulation.
Make sure you send the agenda to everybody before the meeting so they have enough time to read or prepare any required material. Your meeting agenda should help you stay on track but remember always have a minute (note) keeper to keep track of the time.
Also, make sure you have the right equipment with you! Will you need to have speakers to play video audio? Will there be presentations? Remember many people find having a laptop open and someone typing distracting. Consider a traditional notepad, one that’s a bit special so you don’t lose it.