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5 tips on having better meetings

Meetings are time killers which usually take longer than anticipated. It is important to reassess your business’ meeting culture and evaluate how much money is spent having meetings. Because in reality, time is money. Every second your employees and you spend in a meeting; you are spending money.

According to a report by Plantronics, there is a short equation you can do to see how much money you are spending on meetings. It goes as follows: 

Meeting time (hrs) + travel time (hrs)) X number of participants X average hourly rate of participant = total cost

By going through this equation you can work out the average cost of your meetings.

How can you ensure that you have more effective meetings? Here are five tips on having better meetings:

TIP 1: Define the reason for the meeting

Before you even decide to conduct a meeting you need to decide what the outcome is which you wish to attain in this meeting. Do you need input from outside parties? And if so do you need to have a face-to-face conversation with these people? If you have answered yes to these two questions, then you should organize a meeting. If you answered yes to the first question but no to the second question, then you should try another means of communication either via email or a phone call.

TIP 2: Have standing meetings

If the participants in the meeting are standing up, then they will be more active in the meeting and less likely to become bored. People will also be less possessive over their ideas and work better as a team. These types of meetings tend to be about 10 minutes shorter.

TIP 3: Use an agenda

An agenda is important for a meeting. This document will help you to stay on track for the meeting. Ensure the main decisions that need to be made are at the start of the meeting. Should someone go off topic, advise them that you will park it and arrange another meeting to discuss it. If issues or problems come up which don’t involve everyone in the meeting, then hold on to it until the end of the meeting and discuss the matter directly with the people it concerns. By sending the agenda to the participants of the meetings beforehand, you will ensure they will be prepared and know what will be discussed.

TIP 4:  Do not multi-task

When you have a meeting ensure that everyone switches their devices onto silent. Attendees should not work on emails during the meeting as this will take their attention away from the meeting and could extend it because you may need to repeat what was just said. Everyone’s attention should be on the meeting and the points which are under discussion.

TIP 5: Send out a reminder

It is good to remind the critical participants about the meeting by sending out an email reminder an hour or a day before the meeting. This will ensure that they remember the meeting and make sure that they have prepared for the meeting.

By following this five tips you will be well on your way to having better and more productive meetings.

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