Business meetings are a necessity for the success of every organization. But business meetings can also be extremely counterproductive if you dont know how to handle them properly. The way to approach such a gathering is to think of it as something very expensive. Business meetings require time and time spent doing anything other than working costs money. The more people you have at your meeting, the more money you will lose if you fail to get the results you needed at the end of it. If you want to avoid such losses and make sure that your meetings are as productive as possible, consider the following:
1. Prepare the agenda
Having an agenda is certainly helpful. This is the first step to ensuring that your meeting is not going to be a failure. Take the time to think carefully about everything that you need to discuss with your colleagues and write it down. Break it down using bullet points and make sure you havent missed anything. Ideally, this should be done 2 or 3 days before you have the meeting. When you are ready with the agenda, make sure to email it to everyone else who is going to be present. This will give people the opportunity to prepare according to your plan and be ready when it comes to contributing something of value.
2. Prepare the room
While this is one of the most important parts of having a meeting, the number of people who overlook it is very large. It is recommended to book a meeting room 1 or 2 days before the meeting takes place. This way you will not have to waste valuable time looking for an available meeting room in the last moment. You can also think about catering and refreshments if the meeting is going to be longer than usual. Another thing you should remember to do in advance is to request the resources you are going to need including projectors, printers and monitors. For all of these things you can use special software like the solutions developed by Pronestor for instance.
3. Keep the meeting short
Long meetings are almost always doomed to fail. The truth is that nobody likes meetings, especially if they go on forever. Decide how much time you are going to need and let everyone know when you send them the details. If you say 40 minutes for example, you should not prolong the meeting any longer. This will only frustrate people. And we all know that when we get frustrated about something, it is very difficult to continue being productive.
It is important for you and your colleagues to stay focused throughout the meeting and never distract yourselves with things that are unimportant or unrelated to the topic of discussion. If you feel that this is starting to happen, kindly remind everyone to get back on track. If you hear a good idea that you want to pursue, write it down and move on. You can always discuss it later.
These are the basics of having productive meetings. Take those 4 steps every time youre getting together with your colleagues and you will instantly notice the improvement in terms of productivity.