Make Your Meetings More Productive

Here Are Twenty ‘Rapid-Fire’ Tips

It seems that making group meeting time more productive has always been a priority. Even today, with the latest tools and technologies, we sometimes struggle to make the best use of the time that teams spend together.

With that in mind, we tapped into the “wisdom of the crowd” from our own employee experts to solicit the top twenty rapid-fire tips on how to make your group or team more effective and efficient in meetings. So without further ado, here is their advice:

  • Routine team meetings should not last longer than 15-20 minutes.
  • Video use for all remote participants. Participants feel more engaged while keeping the meeting productive.
  • Handle decision topics first and then information updates last.
  • Schedule face-to-face meetings effectively (get them all scheduled for the same day if possible).
    Fill the day to the max and cram all meetings where F2F is mandated.
  • Discretely talk to everyone invited to the meeting and plan a solution in advance.
  • Propose your solution to the key people prior and suggest a brief conference or web meeting instead to confirm your plan.
  • If someone demands a meeting, then schedule it 30 minutes before going home time as an incentive to finish on time.
  • Start the meeting with specific goals to accomplish. Close the meeting with action items, owner and due date.
  • A hot cup of coffee, agenda, expected meeting results, outcome, contribution.
  • Know what the end target or the outcome that needs to be achieved.
  • Meetings need an agenda and a scheduled end time to stick to. Avoid side-topics.
  • Participants should always prepare themselves ahead of the meeting.
  • It only makes sense to join a meeting if you have something to contribute.
  • Having a clear agenda and objective, the right people all showing up and contributing, as well as someone chairing to keep on track are all key.
  • A successful meeting requires active people. If you are quiet all the time in a meeting, don’t go to the next follow up.
  • Nominate a strict time-keeper at the meeting agenda and respect the schedule.
  • Most of all, there should be a well-defined purpose that every participant shares.
  • Provide agenda, brief presenters in advance, focus on the topic, avoid side discussions, start on time to finish on time, provide short meeting notes.
  • Agenda and meeting minutes. Basics but always the right thing to do.
  • If there is no clear agenda and no plan to have something done, there is no need to meet.

If you made it to the bottom of the list, then hopefully you came across a handful of ideas or pointers that you can take away to make your next meeting more productive. Feel free to share your experiences and tips with us on Twitter (@UnifyCo). 

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About Ross Sedgewick

Digital Workplace and Team Collaboration Expert
Ross joined Unify in 2002 and has fulfilled several expert marketing roles in technologies for the digital workplace, team collaboration / customer contact solutions, and virtual team engagement. He currently handles content creation, messaging and insight development relating to the digital workplace. Ross is passionate about humanizing the intersection of people and technology, and understanding how users engage and interact. Prior to joining Unify, Ross has held marketing, product, channel and sales leadership positions at IBM Corporation, Delano Technologies, and Siemens Enterprise Communications.