I picked this up several years ago, if you recognize the source, let me know so I can give proper credit.
1) The Sad Reality: Leadership spends 40%-50% of their working hours in meetings.
2) Productivity studies show as much as 50% of meeting time is unproductive.
3) 25% of meeting time is spent discussing irrelevant issues.
4) Some meetings are too long – no time limits are set.
5) Scheduled without adequate time to prepare.
6) Scheduled without clear agenda. You can also list times allowed for each item.
4 principles for effective meetings
1) Preparation – ensuring a clear agenda is prepared in advance.
a) Have a clear goal.
b) Participants are carefully chosen. Some need a personal invitation
c) Give attention to details such as room choice, meals and breaks if needed, A/V & other equipment, reminders. If equipment isn’t set up and 15 people wait 30 minutes for technology to work, 7 hours of productivity just went down the tube.
2) Presenting – (facilitation). Means that someone, or a team, is responsible for guiding the meeting.
3) Inspiration – is using activities to engage participants, generate discussion and using visuals that grab attention.
4) Results – every meeting should be directed toward an outcome. If not, do you need the meeting? How do you accomplish the outcome?
a) Has a goal been set for the meeting?
b) Has an agenda been created ahead of time?
c) Will the appropriate people be attending?
d) Could the information be covered by a phone call, e-mail, or memo?
Creating an Effective Agenda- why it’s important
1) Provides an outline for the meeting. The agenda communicates:
a) Topics for discussion for preparation.
b) Presenter or discussion leader for each topic.
c) Time allotment for each topic. Also include process for extending time if needed. (If no time is set for length of meeting it could go for ever).
2) Can be used as a checklist to ensure that all information is covered.
3) Lets participants to know what will be discussed before the meeting. Gives opportunity to come to the meeting prepared for the upcoming discussions or decisions.
4) Provides a focus for the meeting (the objective of the meeting should be clearly stated in the agenda).
How to Create an Effective Agenda
1) Send e-mail or call stating there will be a meeting, the goal of the meeting as well as the administrative details such as when and where it will be held. Can include summaries of previous meetings. Can also ask for input.
2) Ask participants requesting an agenda item to contact you no less than two days before the meeting with their request and the amount of time they will need to present it.
3) Summarize the agenda items in a table format with the headings Agenda item. Sample may look like this:
|Safety Committee||Jane Smith, Nursing||10 minutes|
|Building Report||John, Maint. Supervisor||10 minutes|
|Space Concerns related to expansion||Bill Doe, Doe Architects||20 minutes|
4) Send agenda to all participants the day before the meeting with a reminder of the goals, location, time, and duration.
5) Follow the agenda during the meeting!
Right before meeting begins:
1) Distribute agenda and circulate background material, lengthy documents or articles prior to the meeting so members will be prepared and feel involved and up-to-date.
2) Set a time limit and stick to it, if possible. Members have other commitments and will be more likely to attend meetings if you make them productive, predictable, and as short as possible. (If you can end a meeting 10 minutes early, folks will like it).
3) Try to arrange the room so members face each other, i.e., circle or semi-circle. For large groups, try U-shaped rows.
4) Choose location suitable to your group’s size and purpose. Space for 100 people probably not good for meeting of 6 people.
5) Use visual aids for interest (posters, diagrams, etc.) Post large agenda up front to which members can refer. Not on Power Point because it will go away if you are using Power Point in the meeting. Bring extra agendas.
6) Vary meeting places, but size should fit the number of people present.