by Paul Legrady
Too many meetings start late, run long and don’t achieve much. Try these tips for running productive meetings that accomplish your objectives:
1. Distribute an agenda. Include the purpose of the meeting so people know what to expect from it and come with solutions in mind.
2. Time-box each agenda item. Figure out how much time to spend on each agenda item. Stick to your schedule—45 minutes is ideal for most meetings.
3. Create a cheat sheet for yourself. Set up a spreadsheet for your eyes only outlining your objectives for each agenda item.
4. Ask questions to involve the group. Encourage people to share their ideas, or break into groups to discuss ideas and report back.
5. Post your presentation’s key points. Old-fashioned flipcharts work better than PowerPoint for small groups.
6. Work toward consensus. Ask, “Can everyone get behind that?” Follow up with, “So you think this is the best way to do it?”
7. Reinforce the message. Place your presentation and notes on the server for easy access after the meeting.