Rule the Room: 5 Tips for Facilitating Meetings that Generate Results

By Tiffani Allen

The work world is simultaneously in love and hate with meetings – from congratulatory mugs for surviving ‘another meeting that could have been an email’ to the mandatory ‘check-in’ meetings that seem to plague event the tightest of calendars. It is generally accepted that meetings are necessary for effective work to be done. However, not all meetings lend themselves toward empowering productivity. What’s an organization to do?

It all comes down to planning. There’s a specific formula that needs to be followed in order to push attendees toward action. The outline described below is tried and true. In fact, it has saved many of my own meetings from the pits of meeting despair. If you have a plan, focus on the actions required to carry it out and clarify tasks along the way, you’ll be on the road to great results in no time. Better yet, this framework can help you empower your team to become more effective, focused and productive.

#1 – Come Prepared

Always prepare for your meetings, whether they’re internal, with a client or with a vendor. To maintain control of the room, you must be prepared to address any and all topics that may come up. First, determine what the outcome of the meeting needs to be, and assemble those items into a list of actionable talking points. Next, determine what information needs to support that list of talking points. For example, if you’re meeting to discuss next year’s marketing budget, come prepared with the results of this year’s marketing efforts, recommendations for improvement and spend allocation, and a few discussion points to keep the room engaged.

This level of preparation prior to the meeting can help you gain valuable insights into next steps as well as build your credibility within the group of meeting attendees. If you put in the work ahead of time, there is much more time for discussion and decision making in session.

#2 – Set Your Agenda

Great meetings begin with an agenda. Using the talking points described in step one, make a list of topics to be covered and a key to describe who will lead that particular discussion. Creating your agenda before the meeting allows you to determine the length of time needed and will set the tone for the people involved.

Each agenda item should be action oriented, ‘review and approve design mock up’ vs ‘design mock up’, for example, to clarify the expected outcome of each discussion. At the beginning of the meeting, review the agenda with all attendees and ask if there is anything else to add. This ensures all necessary topics are covered prior to the meeting coming to a close.

#3 – Discourage Multi-Tasking

It may seem counter-intuitive, but multi-tasking is a notorious productivity killer. The focus of all attendees is required to produce and efficient and effective meeting. Ask those attending in person to close their computers. Ask remote attendees to avoid checking email or other distractions. Ask questions that encourage interaction. The person facilitating the meeting should take notes Go to the full article.

Source:: Online Marketing Blot – TopRank