We’ve all walked into long, drawn-out sessions where not much is achieved, and what was said may as well have been an email. Running an effective meeting where everyone leaves feeling motivated and productive takes skill and requires quite a bit of planning. We’ve compiled some of our top meeting tips to help you make your next meeting a fruitful one.
To ensure that you get the most out of your meeting, take some time to structure and organise the shape of it. While it might feel counterintuitive to structure a creative session, it will help you maximise everyone’s time and run your meeting effectively.
- Pick the Right People: When choosing the attendees for the meeting, ensure they can also get something out of it. Respect everyone else’s time, and understand if they need to drop out. By regularly mixing up who you bring to meetings, you’ll get the chance to hear new ideas and have fresh conversations.
- Set an Agenda: Set out the plan for the meeting ahead of time, and share this with attendees. It gives them a chance to think about ideas beforehand and will help them to prepare effectively. If you’re worried about time, you can also put a time limit on how long each person talks.
- Prep your Team: Consider sharing any slides or notes ahead of time to benefit your team. Not everyone is great at coming up with ideas on the spot, so by sharing information beforehand, you’ll set them up to succeed, not fail.
- Think about Tools: There are plenty of tools out there that help boost the productivity of your meeting and keep it interesting while you’re in there. These could be post-its, whiteboards or digital collaboration tools like Miro.
- Location is Key: Avoid desk meetings wherever possible. Changing the environment of your session helps to motivate and inspire the attendees. Consider booking a meeting room in a new location or taking it outdoors for a walking meeting.
- Arrange for Accessibility: Do what you can to make your meeting as accessible as possible. Are your slides in a readable colour? Do you need to provide live captioning? Ask your team in advance if there are any accessibility requests they’d like to make, and do your best to accommodate them.
Keep it Focussed
Once your meeting has started, the conversation can easily drift and focus can wane. You must not only optimise the time you have effectively but also keep your attendees engaged and interested. Here are some simple ways to maintain the energy:
- Minimise Devices: Establish at the very start of the meeting for attendees to close their laptops and silence their phones where possible.
- Be a Stickler for Timings: You’ve made your agenda; now, the challenge is to ensure you stick to it. Be strict on this; if you feel that the conversation is wandering, bring it back to the task at hand.
- Be Generous: Allocate plenty of breaks to curtail fatigue, make sure there’s plenty of water available and, most importantly, bring a plethora of snacks.
- Mix it Up: Create interactive opportunities for attendees to get involved in helping them stay invested. When they go on a break, encourage them to take a walk and get some fresh air rather than going on their phone or staying static.
It’s crucial to take accountability once your meeting is over. This can require almost as much planning as the prep so that the actions from the session are actualised.
- Set Actions: Before you all leave, make sure that you go through everyone’s actions and responsibilities so that everyone is clear on the next steps.
- Lead by Example: If your team see you working on your actions, they’ll follow your lead. Send regular follow-ups and check in with them to see how they’re getting on.
- Ask for Feedback: Find out from attendees what you could do for your next meeting to make it even more impactful and effective. There are always ways to improve and new tools at your disposal - keep building.
If you're looking for a productive and collaborative space to have a meeting, book one of our meeting rooms in Brighton and West London.
Content + Social Media Manager at Plus X Innovation.