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5 secrets for more efficient meetings

BusinessEdward KiledjianComment
Image by  Nguyen Hung Vu  used under Creative Commons License

Image by Nguyen Hung Vu used under Creative Commons License

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:

  1. 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. 
  2. Create an agenda - Every meeting should have a clearly defined agenda with clear expectations from each participant
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.
— Benjamin Franklin