Everyone loves meetings... Right? Of course you do. Nothing is more enjoyable than meeting 6 other people to go through a 120 slide powerpoint presentation in a far flung conference room. Fun ... Fun ... Fun ...
Joking aside, meetings are a necessary evil in the business world so productivity junkies are always testing new strategies to make them more effective. After 20+ years of searching, the core tenets for efficient meetings can be boiled down to a measly 5 bullets and have the main title of "Be Prepared".
Without further ado, I present the 5 magical tenets of efficient meetings:
- Book in advance - Unless you have an urgent issue which magically pops up, try to book all of your meetings a couple of days in advance. During my friday weekly review (Link), I make sure all of my meeting invitations are sent out for the following week.
- Create an agenda - Every meeting should have a clearly defined agenda with clear expectations from each participant
- Make material available - Make sure any material you will use during the meeting is distributed ahead of time and that participants understand how to process it before the meeting.
- Define the expected outcome - The agenda should include the expected outcome from the meeting. This goal should be repeated at the start of the meeting to ensure everyone is working towards the same goal.
- Book a meeting room - This may sound very basic as a rule but you wouldn't believe the number of times a meeting room isn't booked or you show up to the room and someone else is using it or the meeting room is too small or ill equipped for meeting.