As an entrepreneur or small business owner, your days will no doubt be taken up with a whole lot of meetings. As these can become very time consuming, it is very important that you make sure you aren’t wasting your time in meetings. This will help you, your company, and your employees.
To make sure that all of your meetings are as efficient and meaningful as they should be, you should always try and keep the following great meeting tips in mind.
Make Sure Each Meeting Has A Purpose
Before you call a meeting, you need to understand the whole reason why you need to have one in the first place. If there isn’t really a good reason or purpose behind a meeting, you will find that you and everyone else who is involved won’t achieve anything. Some attendees may even end up bored and frustrated. So, make sure that you have a solid reason for the meeting before you send out all the email invites. Ideally, you need to be able to condense the purpose into a single sentence, so that people don’t get swamped with too much information before they have even got to the meeting room!
Always Begin On Time
You will certainly be a very busy person, and I’m sure that all of your employees and clients who are also attending the meeting will also have plenty on their plate. So, it’s a good idea to try and make sure that meetings always begin on time.You can let everyone know what time you expect them to be there by using a handy scheduling tool, which can encourage them to arrive on time. Otherwise, you will eat into everyone’s time, which can put them off schedule. And that is a surefire way to really annoy people! Make sure you always start even if you are waiting for a few others. They will be able to quietly slip into the room and will be able to catch up by reading the handout.
Lots of companies are now getting rid of all the chairs from their meeting rooms. Don’t worry; that doesn’t mean you will all have to sit on the floor for your meeting! In fact, more and more businesses are now finding that having meetings while standing up is highly effective. That is because it encourages people to stay on time, and ensures that everyone stays focused.
Bring A Speaking Token
Are you expecting more than ten people at a meeting? That could be a sign that things could quickly get out of hand! With so many people in one room, you may find that the small groups form and there could be a few different discussions going on at once. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, you need to find a way to limit it to just one person talking at once. The best way to do this is to bring along a speaking token, such as a tennis ball or a stress ball. Whoever has this token should be the only person speaking. Once they have had their say, they can then pass the token onto the next person who is ready to speak. You will find that your meeting is a lot more successful if you are able to give everyone a chance to speak without any interruptions.
Use Visual Prompts
We all learn differently, and we also take in information in different ways. Some of us may be able to handle an hour’s meeting in which various people talk through different types of information. However, some people might struggle with this, and they could really find it advantageous to have some visual points in the meeting. One of the best visual prompts you can supply is a handout. This could have a few different charts and graphs on it to help explain some of the various figures and data that you speak about. Some entrepreneurs also like to have a whiteboard or a paper flipchart that they can write on as the meeting goes. This way, you can quickly sketch your own charts and graphs to help people visualize what you are trying to say.
Stay Away From PowerPoint
Just a few years ago, PowerPoint was all the rage for meetings. However, it has very much fallen out of fashion now. That’s because lots of people who take meetings just end up reading the bullet points straight off the slides. That can quickly bore people! So ditch the slides and try to speak freely without any prompts that could end up hindering you.