Effective meetings happen by design, not accident. Often, this means putting in the work before a meeting takes place – so you can maximise the results you get when the meeting happens.
These are 5 “MUSTs” that every meeting organiser should consider including in their pre-meeting checklist.
#1: Get everyone on the same page
Haphazardness is the enemy of every productive meeting. Yet, this is how many meetings are currently being organised. What usually happens prior to a meeting is:
- A meeting is called to discuss a broad topic or project
- A list of meeting participants is decided on
- Calendar invites are sent out
- Everyone gathers for the meeting and simply “goes with the flow”
Step one is getting everyone on the same page by being specific about what the meeting is about. This means nailing down the details of a project that’s being worked on, then sharing it with everyone.
The more specific you are at this point of your meeting planning process, the clearer (and more well-prepared) your meeting participants will be.
#2: Develop an objective-focused agenda
Following up from the first MUST in this article, we recommend always developing a detailed, objective-focused agenda. While many meeting agendas may look like this:
- Meeting to discuss the January 2020 marketing campaign
- 3.00pm: Start of meeting
- 4.00pm: Break
- 4.15pm: Open discussion
- 4.30pm: Other matters
- 5.00pm: End
Experience meeting organisers always recommend putting your objectives at the forefront of your meeting agendas. For example:
- Optimising sales conversations of the 2020 marketing campaign
- 3.00pm: Review of Q4 2019 marketing campaign results
- 3.15pm: Learning points
- 3.30pm: 2020 campaign – Branding
- 3.45pm: 2020 campaign – Print
- 4.00pm: 2020 campaign – Digital
- 4.15pm: Break
- 4.30pm: Your inputs – Each department to share recommendations on optimising sales conversations for their selected campaign focus
- 5pm: End
The more clearly you set and integrate your key objective(s) into your agenda, the better your results will be.
#3 Executive Responsibilities
Now, it’s time to inject even more clarity into your meetings by telling participants exactly what you expect of them – and you can do so by allocating executive responsibilities to both individual members or departments.
But the assignment of executive responsibilities goes far beyond pointing fingers so work can be done. These assignments also give individuals and departments a sense of responsibility and ownership over their area of the meeting – which leads to better-run meetings and higher levels of engagement and contribution.
#4: Set expectations and pre-meeting work
If you’ve implemented the previous 3 MUSTs well, this one will fall right into place. Rather than calling for a meeting and having participants simply “contribute” ideas off the top of their head (which admittedly, is what happens in a majority of meetings), you should set “homework” for participants.
Whether this means researching certain topics and sharing them during the meeting, or contributing well-thought-out ideas to a project, you may be surprised at how a little “pre-meeting work” can go a long way towards contributing to the quality and effectiveness of your meetings.
#5: Engagement Platform
In the meetings space, one of the most groundbreaking innovations in recent years has been the rise of engagement platforms. At Angage, our Angage.live solution greatly improves engagement levels by delivering a host of benefits to both meeting hosts and participants.
- A DIY solution for setting up meeting rooms in minutes
- An affordable, subscription-based platform
- Ask questions, set up quizzes, and more
- Measure engagement levels
- Ability to gamify meeting
- Easily accessible from any device (smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops)
- Ability to ask and answers questions
- Interact with meeting organisers, speakers and other participants
- Enjoy a highly interactive meeting experience
- Possibility of winning prizes (if the meeting organiser gamifies the experience)
Best of all, meeting organisers can test Angage.live for free by visiting the solution online, or by speaking with an Angage consultant. (The good news is that the solution is so easy to use, a guided walk through isn’t needed – although we will be happy to provide a detailed walkthrough on request).