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12 Ways to Make Meetings Great

“Is this seat taken?” As he sits down everyone in the room is watching him. No real reason, it’s just that he was moving. The meeting continues as if he weren’t there and everyone feels uncomfortable. 

As all had suspected the meeting runs over time because a few discussions expanded beyond their time frames. Also, the “brainstorming” discussion on one project didn’t produce any new ideas but it reminded people of some other unresolved issues that “needed” to be added to the agenda. ENOUGH! So far, am I describing your experiences too? Haven’t you been there in meetings large and small where the collective waste of valuable time and talent was staggering? 

Well, I’m here to tell you that there is a better way, and it’s not all that hard either. 

Here are some guidelines that might make a difference for you.

  1. If you don’t have to meet, then don’t. Just call or email or text them the news.
  2. When you meet, show up before the scheduled start time. Get your coffee before the event.
  3. Start on time, even if only one other person showed up. The stragglers will not respect your time until you do!
  4. Do NOT say “Before we begin”. If you are speaking then you have begun! Just start communicating.
  5. Open with a smile and a bold greeting, “GOOD Morning!”
  6. Move quickly from one item to the next.
  7. Ask: what do we need to know? what do we need to do? what help do we need? then…next!
  8. Don’t ever go to a meeting just to get energy. BRING energy! Enter the room enthusiastically, take initiative, greet others, ask questions, offer suggestions, go get an extra chair, etc.
  9. Do not try to “sneak” while in front of everyone. If you are late, just say, “Good morning, sorry I’m late.” Then sit down.
  10. If you are the Chair then pause when a tardy participant arrives and say, “Good morning Bill, we are talking about xxxxxx.” Then continue with your comments.
  11. If you are making a report, don’t just say it, SELL it! Give people a reason to hear what you’ve got to say. Show them why they should care about it.
  12. Be a great listener. I’m a member of the National Speakers Association (3,000+ professional speakers) and it turns out that they are some of the best listeners on earth. Be the same, look at the speaker, encourage them, ask questions, and offer support.
That’s your daily dozen for now.