Leading the Effective Business Meeting

In daily life, sometimes we can find the business meetings which are digressive of the main point. Because of many aspects, the business meeting is not effective. Before holding any meeting, you should consider to call the meeting when the condition is critical to have the meeting. You also need to structure it well so the meeting can meet its goal.

Before holding a meeting, you should prepare some things such as the business books, flip charts, overhead projectors, personal organizers, notebook papers, spiral notebooks, slide projectors, and the transparencies.

The first thing you should do is deciding whether the meeting is important or not. It is related to the issue whether the issue is involved to the individual or the conference call. You also need to determine the person who needs to come to the meeting. It is better for you to keep the number of the attendees in small number. The main reason is having the large meeting is not as effective as having the small meeting. By this way, the discussion of the meeting can be more focused.

To make the meeting is more effective, you should set the definite starting and stopping time. During the meeting, one of the attendees should prepare the agenda. Remember to explain the purpose of the meeting. If you have many goals, you should decide which goal has the command priority. Help the attendees understand more about the meeting progress by using the visual aids like the charts, slides, and the handouts. It is better for you to begin the meeting in the designated time. You should start the meeting whether everyone is present or not.

You can start off the meeting directly to the point. You also need to allocate the time for each issue. Moving through issues will let the discussion but discouraging digression or the repetition. It is recommended for you to use the timer.

If the debate or the issue runs overtime, you need to postpone the discussion until the end of the meeting. Ensure that you cover the other issues on the agenda.

Catering for Business Meetings

Many organizations these days ask help from one another in implementing some of their projects. That’s why partner firms will meet with one another to talk about many choices and issues pertaining to their companies. Business meetings could take several hours or even a day or two before company officials decide on essential matters. On this note, it is crucial that you invest in catering that will please your clients. Good catering for business meetings can help build good relationships with your clients and suppliers.

Just like organizing any event, catering for meetings is rarely an easy task. A lot of things must be put into perspective. Such things that should be taken into consideration are the number of guests, their location, drinks and food to be offered, location of the venue, venue set-up and of course, the company’s budget. Smooth running meetings can take place when all things are evaluated. It is therefore important to follow these rules when catering for business meetings:

  1. Number of guests. When catering for business meetings it is extremely vital that you take note of the number of people that will be participating in the meeting. Determining whether a small-group or a large-group will come to the meeting can help you look for venues that can fit all these people and also help you plan the menu.
  2. Budget. Catering for business meetings may be quite pricey. That’s why it is crucial that you request for a budget that will be able to accommodate the needs of your expected number of guests. It is also essential that you spend this budget wisely on things that can make your business meeting a good one.
  3. Location and time. Knowing the location is crucial as some of your expected guests may not be able to come if you choose a location that is too far from their offices. For the venue of the meeting, this could range from a small conference room in your company office or a more spacious function room at some hotel. Therefore, the venue size will depend on your number of guests. Also, knowing the time of your business meeting will help you with the catering preparation.
  4. Food and drinks to be served. It is very important to have a well-planned menu when catering for business meetings, so knowing the number of guests to avoid shortage in food and drinks is critical. Also, there should be a variety of food and drinks so that your guests will have a lot of options.
  5. Setting up. Once you already know the number of your guests, the budget allocation, the location and time and the menu, setting up for your business meeting is the last step. This entails setting-up the venue with decorations, tables and chairs and other equipment necessary for the business meeting.

Catering for business meetings is also demanding much like preparing for an important event if you don’t know where to start. It gives you plenty of control in managing the timeline and the meeting’s environment. It is a way in building a good relationship with your clients and suppliers. Remember the key aspects that you have to put into consideration when catering for business meetings: guests, budget, location and time, menu, and setting up. With all these in mind, you will surely have a business meeting that can smoothly run.

Video Conferencing Software For Executing Online Business Meetings

Online meetings are the conferences or meetings that are conducted with the aid of the internet. These meetings can be differentiated into two types they are the casual online meetings and professional business meetings. To conduct the casual online conference, there are various options available on the Internet; they are Google+ Hangouts and Skype. But for professional business meetings, these video chat options do not work out. The business meetings always need a professional web conferencing solution.

Video conferencing solution eases the business executives to interact effectively with one another as if they are meeting in live or in person. This solution enables the users to have interactions with the people who are separated by a thousand miles of distance.

In the recent years, the advancements in the web conferencing technology have renovated the online meetings towards more mobile and flexible. In the preceding years, the conferencing solution was hardware based, where the organizations have to set up a boardroom to conduct the meetings. This setup will be composed of a huge range of hardware components.

Normally the online meetings are conducted to have an interaction with the business executives are far located. Let us consider a case: A business executive is on business tour and he/she must have to attend the meeting. In this situation, such executive cannot search for a boardroom and log on to the meeting. As a solution to this case, video conferencing software can be used. Through the software based application, the business executive doesn’t have to look for a boardroom; rather he/she can log on to the meeting through his/her wireless PC.

During the time of the meeting, the business executives do have a need of presenting some documents. The software video conferencing solutions are integrated with certain fruitful features, by which the online meeting can be more interactive and lively. Whiteboard sharing, file sharing, desktop sharing, referendum, voting and co-browsing are some of the most helpful features for executing the online meetings successfully.

The basic software and hardware requirements needed for making use of the video conferencing software are: standard PC (Laptop, iPad or Android based mobile phone), internet connection either broadband or leased line or a software license to make the application installed in the PC.

Web conferencing software provides ample benefits for the organizations, in terms of minimizing cost of resources. Through this solution the business executive doesn’t have a need to all the way travel from his place to the meeting place. This will cut down certain expenses such as air fares and hotel bills.

Lastly it can be justified that, the video conferencing software is the best loom for executing the online meeting in an effective way.

The Business Meeting Revisited – Waste of Time or Key Strategic Tool?

Few words bring such strong negative reactions as ‘business meeting’. As companies analyze their meeting times against results they often throw up their hands in disgust and conclude that meetings are a waste of time and of no use. Not so fast. While it is true that not having a meeting may be better than having a bad meeting, it does not follow that the business meeting itself is to blame. No matter how good the idea, if those that execute the plan fail then the project itself fails.

‘It’s a bother, it’s a pain, so little gets done, same old stuff, nothing ever happens, it’s always a bore, it lasts too long, and all we do is sit and listen to one or two people drone on about the company’s woes.’ Whine, whine, whine. Case closed.

And that’s the most difficult part; overcoming apathy and boredom from employees and managers that are jaded after continued exposure to bad meetings. It makes starting a meeting difficult and gaining momentum from that meeting even more difficult. The best place to start is to determine what results you would like to have from the meeting. This will guide you in determining the agenda.

The agenda should be written with a time allotted to each item. Meetings should rarely go over an hour especially if they start on time. Start exactly on time and you will ensure promptness at the next meeting. After each agenda item put the person responsible for reporting or moderating that agenda item so that someone ‘owns’ that agenda item. If you are starting business meetings make it a goal to spread the agenda items out to different meeting participants.

The first agenda item should be something light and not nuts and bolts financial. I like to bring up items such as image and attitude here. The last agenda item should be the next meeting’s time and place.

Don’t overload the agenda with too many items or too many heavy stress items if that is avoidable. If the business meeting becomes too negative it can dampen whatever enthusiasm it generates. Some agenda items can be ‘rolled’ over into the next agenda. Try to vary your agenda items for each meeting to keep the agenda fresh. That also means you should be discussing relevant and current topics.

Plan your agenda to end on an upbeat note. You really want the last impression of the meeting to be a positive one. If the meeting ends on a sour note it will leave a sour taste. If participation is important try to get each person present in the meeting to say something. This may be difficult at large meetings but in smaller groups it creates the impression of being a part of the meeting. Meeting participation can be a goal itself.

Some people tend to speak more than others so don’t let one or two people do all the talking. Especially you. It is best to have a moderator or leader. This person is responsible for opening and closing the meeting as well as making certain the agenda moves along in a timely manner.

It is possible to rotate moderators from meeting to meeting. This depends on the meeting participants, their capabilities and their willingness to participate.

Do not expect too much change too fast. It has been my experience that it might take several months of weekly meetings to reach desired results. And it is best not to create unrealistic expectations up front as they may sabotage your efforts.

It’s OK to disagree and disagreements often make for excellent meetings. As the moderator, it is your job to maintain calm and control. If everyone is yawning a good disagreement might even wake them up. After each meeting do a self-evaluation on how the meeting went. What could have done better? What went right? What did not go as expected?

And stay persistent. It is very hard to change either individual or group behavior and that’s what meetings are mostly about. Some call it behavior modification but perhaps changing the range of behaviors is more appropriate. Some call it training or education. And sometimes it’s art and sometimes it’s science but seldom is it predictable.

Often it doesn’t always work as planned. If you have a bad meeting shrug it off and see how you can improve the next one. Also try to stay in the right frame of mind and perspective so you don’t get frustrated too quickly.

There is no right or wrong way to have a meeting; just ways that make meetings more effective. The best strategy to make your meeting effective is to open it up, do what it takes to get participation and work through a relevant and prioritized agenda. Go with your gut and don’t be afraid of taking small risks to keep momentum. Even if you flop folks will see you are sincere and good things will happen.

The results just might surprise you.