How To Make Your Business Meetings Better [7 Easy Ways]
Meetings are a necessary part of business life. Yet, many people dread attending meetings. Here are seven ways to make your meetings go smoother for everyone.
Meetings are a necessary part of keeping a business running smoothly. Even so, many people dread them.
Too many leaders simply hold meetings out of habit, not really using them to the fullest. Employees resent the waste of their time, and the top execs expect to see results.
This doesn’t mean that you should scratch meetings out of your managerial strategy for good.
You can make your meetings count and improve employees’ views of meetings by using these seven tactics.
1. Collaborate with Execs Beforehand
Before entering the meeting room, discuss the main topics with your company executives to ensure they are on board. (Preferably a full day in advance.)
These leaders may have some great ideas or concerns that they want to make time for addressing.
Find solutions to problems and concerns together and vote on any decisions.
Then you can present this to the team at the meeting. This will not only ensure that the top dogs are happy, but it will cut out any debate during the meeting if one of them attends.
2. Keep It Small
Since no one gets excited about meetings, it’s best only to invite those that absolutely need to be there.
Not only will it help keep the rolling eyes at bay, but a full room will only create too much chatter or too little attention from the masses.
Also, if you pay your employees by the hour, you don’t need to waste money paying them to attend an hour-long meeting that doesn’t pertain to their job.
3. Cater to the Needs of the Meeting
Improve your results by creating a less distracting environment for your attendees.
Be sure to provide food and drink at the proper time. You don’t want the room to be hungry or thirsty. This will interfere with their ability to focus on the task at hand.
Make sure there is enough lighting but not so harsh that it feels like they are under interrogation.
Keep the noise at bay. Don’t set the meeting time when the landscapers are working hard, and you can hear it.
If it comes down to it, don’t be afraid to set the meeting up in a new venue better suited for the occasion.
What is the purpose of the meeting?
The answer will affect the type of environment you want to create.
If you want brainstorming to be the focus of the meeting, create an environment that is more relaxed and conducive to sharing ideas.
If you want to update the team on a new policy, make sure you command attention and keep it straightforward.
4. Rock Your Presentation
No one wants to go to a boring meeting with an even more boring presentation, and you don’t want to give a boring presentation.
So for the sake of getting and keeping your audience’s attention, consider yourself the entertainment.
Use words and body language that elicit emotion (only the good kind). Hook them in from the beginning with a good opening line.
Visual cues improve any presentation as visual information is more absorbed than oral.
Don’t forget to take advantage of technology by using online tools and tech to liven up your presentation.
If you could use a little inspiration, this website has some wonderful presentation ideas that you can try out at your next meeting.
5. Shorten It
People’s attention spans are short. In fact, according to Digital Information World, the average adult attention span only lasts eight seconds in this day and age.
This means you need to keep it as concise and to the point as you can before your audience’s minds are wandering off.
Use a meeting agenda and stick to it. To make this easier, it’s a good idea to have it written out and within eyesight before you begin your meeting.
Don’t allow complaints or ideas to get the meeting off track. When you do, glance back at your agenda and get back on course.
6. Be Aware of Body Language
Since you are the MC of this meeting, you set the tone, and this can happen before you even begin to speak through your body language.
Don’t cross your arms. Keep them relaxed and use movement while talking to gain attention.
Do your best to make eye contact with each attendee as the meeting progresses. Smile often and be friendly.
Make your tone of voice sound confident but also approachable. When the meeting is over, leave them looking forward to the next one.
7. End Effectively
After you’ve covered all your topics, recap with the main points and any new decisions or discoveries. That way, you can be sure that no one missed an important issue.
Send out meeting notes afterward to seal the deal. You may want to include a calendar or deadlines and assignments in these notes.
Lastly, ask for feedback to see how you can improve the next meeting. You can use an app to harvest anonymous ratings from your team, like Rate the Meeting.io.
Use this feedback in the meetings to come so that those who left feedback know that you heard them.
Good communication is essential to run a business, but everyone is always so busy. Getting them all in the same room at the same time will require setting a meeting.
There may be no getting out of this preferably avoided situation, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t use it to the full.
Make your next meeting the best one yet by following these seven tips.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Copper Beech Radford to help them with their online marketing.