Be honest, have you ever been to a meeting that has left you with a lack of interest or understanding of the relevance to your day to day role? Planet Pursuits want to let you know it doesn’t have to be this way. Follow our guide to hosting the best meetings.
Set clear objectives. If you don’t know what you want to get from the meeting before it starts, you’re unlikely to figure it out as you go. Define your objectives in advance and make sure all delegates have the same clarity. Don’t call it a day until you’ve sculpted a solid plan of action.
Allow opt-outs. To get the most of people draw up an attendance list based on quality, not quantity. When you send out invitations make participation for anyone who won’t play a pivotal role – and if a colleague isn’t bringing anything to the meeting he or shouldn’t be there at all.
Time it right. Studies show the best time to hold a meeting oddly is Tuesday at 3pm. Attendees will have recovered from the weekend but, won’t yet be feeling the mid-week energy slump and a mid-afternoon meeting tends to focus attention as everyone is keen to get home time.
Be Succinct. Nobody wants to feel trapped in a meeting room with no end in sight. This causes quite a lot of stress and fidgeting attendees. Around 30 minutes is the most likely space of time to hold someone’s interest in meetings. Therefore if it must last longer consider breaking it down into segmented half an hour chunks with small breaks in between.
Mix it up. Even in the shortest meetings, attention can drift especially if attendees have met before with the same people in the same space. To revitalise delegates, why not see if Planet Pursuits can help you find a meeting space that’s out of the usual box.
Keep focused. It’s easy to arrive at a meeting and get caught up in personal chit-chat. It’s not what a host is there for and you’ve got to keep this to a minimum. Be friendly, but firm in settling down to business once conversation veers off track.
Ditch the PowerPoint. If you’re preparing a presentation, consider whether you really need a slide show. Unnecessary lecture waste time and leave people disengaged – if you can get your message across verbally rather visually in a few brief bullet points, everyone will thank you.
Handwrite notes. If you’re making notes, be sure to leave your laptop at your desk. A recent study by American academics found that pen and papers wins out against computer when it comes to retaining conceptual information over the long term.
Open the floor. As any meeting veteran will know the loudest voices aren’t always the most useful. Try to encourage everyone from the nervous apprentice to the office veteran to participate as they might share valuable insights you’d otherwise have missed.
What’s next? No matter how productive your meeting felt if your attendees return to their day to day activities something’s wrong. If nothing critical comes out after the meetings make sure everyone knows what’s expected and their deadline to complete this.