Running a productive business meeting

Business meetings can be really interesting, or they can be extremely boring, particularly for employees.

There are ways to make business meetings engaging and productive where no one is twiddling their thumbs or fighting back yawns. Consider the following tips for running productive business meetings:

Have an agenda
Strategically plan out what areas you wish to raise. If there is someone better suited in the office to talk about the issue, allow them to. If your agenda is long, consider breaking the meeting into two smaller meetings. Provide employees with a summary of the agenda so they have time to gather their thoughts and make a meaningful contribution.

Consider the audience
Not everyone has to be at every meeting. Open the meeting to employees who wish to attend, make it compulsory for employees directly impacted and make sure you engage these audience members. If you are telling an employee they must be in a meeting, make sure they play a valuable role. Engage with them, ask them questions and show that their opinion has been considered.

Meetings can be really dry; sometimes the agenda is not that exciting. Think about ways you can present this content to make it retainable and interesting. Use anecdotes and case studies, use visual aids where possible and ask questions to engage your audience.

Set a time frame
One painful aspect of attending meetings is not seeing the end in sight. If you say it will be a half an hour meeting, it really should not go any longer than forty-five minutes. If the meeting is looking like it will run well past the time you said it would prioritise what you will speak about and schedule another meeting or follow up with an email.

If the audience are expecting the meeting to go for a specific time and it drags on past this, they can quickly become irritated, bored and cease to be engaged.

Just as you sent out an email or memo detailing the agenda of the meeting, you should follow up explaining what occurred in the meeting. Any key pieces of information that were discussed should be acknowledged in writing and given to attendees as a point of reference.

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