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How to Run an Effective Business Meeting

Too many meetings are too long, unfocused, and unproductive. Get together and get things done with these top pro tips.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Make sure the meeting starts and stays on time. Set a timer, if necessary, as a friendly reminder to make sure topics don't exceed their allotted time frame.
  • Step 2: Act like a professor and hold regular office hours. Have employees sign up to pitch new ideas or get approval for marketing campaigns. Allowing small increments of time for a large number of employees has generated valuable ideas at some top companies.
  • FACT: Estimates found that the global meetings and event market totals $650 billion annually.
  • Step 3: Encourage the use of evidence and facts rather than personal opinion to avoid favoritism. Cite performance statistics, feedback or marketing data, or other evidence to show that one idea should be chosen over another.
  • Step 4: Appoint one person to take detailed notes. Having one official record of the meeting allows participants and those who missed the meeting to review the decisions that were reached and the actions that need to be taken.
  • TIP: Use a variety of tools and activities, such as games or brain teasers, to make the meeting productive and fun.
  • Step 5: Allow time for short, mini-meetings within the larger meeting time frame. Use five- or 10-minute segments to address specific projects or issues, such as weekly reports. The agenda can then easily be changed for issues that arise at the last minute.
  • Step 6: Create a detailed agenda that includes the points for discussion and the goals to be accomplished within the time frame. Send it to all meeting participants ahead of time so everyone can focus on achieving these goals.

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