3 ways to shorten meetings

Are your meetings too long? We thought so. Three tips to keep them short:

  • Make preparation mandatory. Require everyone to submit any action items or reports 24 hours prior to the meeting. In addition, make sure that the room and technology are set up and ready to go 15 minutes prior.
  • Assign a facilitator. You can do the job or delegate it to employees. For every meeting, create a de­­tailed agenda. The facilitator will keep the meeting moving along, by reining people in when they go off track.
  • Create a “parking lot.” On a whiteboard, jot down any ideas, questions and concerns that don’t relate directly to the agenda items. At the end of each meeting, assign people to further investigate the parked items. Schedule follow-up meetings as necessary.

— Adapted from “11 Strategies for Shorter Meetings,” Tom Laforce, www.tomlaforce.com.