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6 Tips for Making Meetings More Effective


Meetings are a must in most careers. But in too many offices around the world, meetings have become notorious time-wasters. We’ve all been there: you go to a meeting with no clear objective, the discussion goes off-topic and, in the end, you haven’t accomplished anything. Whether your meeting is in-person or virtual, there are steps you can take to make your meetings more effective:

Set an Agenda 

Many meetings fail to accomplish anything because a plan has not been established ahead of time. Attendees come in with only a vague idea of what will be covered, discussions go off-topic, and at the end, you’re right where you started. To combat this, spend a significant amount of time on your meeting agenda. Outline exactly what will be covered. If the discussion veers away from the agenda, it’s your job to get things back on track.   

Start on time — no matter what

Too often, meeting time is wasted waiting on people to show up. This prolongs the meeting and is unfair to the punctual people who showed up on time. If you are constantly tolerating latecomers, you are creating a culture that forgives tardiness and people will continue to show up late. To combat those who are constantly late, you need to start on time, every time, no matter what. And make no attempt to catch people up on what they missed. People will quickly catch on and start to show up on time.

Have a Stand-Up Meeting 

A stand-up meeting is exactly what it sounds like — a meeting in which everyone stands instead of sits. Multiple studies have shown that stand-up meetings go faster than traditional sit-down meetings. The discomfort of standing for long periods pushes people to make decisions quickly, making your meeting that more effective.

Take meeting out of the office 

Regular meetings can get monotonous. To change things up, consider taking it outside of the office. IT could be as simple as going just outside your office building. You could also consider meeting somewhere farther away if the meeting will be longer or if you want to do a full day of team building. This change of scenery is a great way to spark creativity and innovation. By changing up the routine, your team will be more likely to think outside the box.

Share the meeting agenda 

Prior to your meeting, share the agenda with attendees. Since they know what will be covered in the meeting, your meeting attendees will come more prepared and waste less time. This will also give people a chance to add or remove meeting topics ahead of time, making your meeting that more efficient.

Establish meeting end goal 

The main reason so many meetings fail is because they lack a defined objective. Before the meeting, establish whether the meeting will simply be a discussion, or if there needs to be a decision made by the end. Letting your attendees know what the goal will be will make your meetings more effective.

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