Small-Medium Business – 7 Tips For More Effective, Purposeful and Shorter Business Meetings

The Constant Complaints
People complain constantly that lots of the meetings they attend are inadequate in some way. No conclusions are reached. No decisions are made. Disagreements aren’t resolved. Other people waffle on. Note that it’s always “others” who waffle. The meetings drag on. They don’t get a good hearing and so on and so on.

These ideas may help alleviate the worst meeting excesses

1. Be Punctual.
Start on time regardless of how many of the expected people are present. If that means latecomers miss out on something they wanted to say, so be it. Over time they’ll learn to be punctual.

2. Finish On Time.
Set a finish time and stick to it. If you have unfinished business when the allotted time expires, schedule another meeting. It’s quite unreasonable to expect busy people to sit in seemingly endless meetings when they’ve already interrupted normal work to attend.

3. Restrict Participation.
Invite contributors only. No one should be asked to attend a meeting “for experience” or “as a presence”. If people have nothing to contribute or aren’t likely to be affected by what’s discussed at the meeting, there’s usually no need for them to be at the meeting.

4. Clear Objectives.
Specify the purpose of the meeting and stick to it. Stop participants from introducing other issues unless they are likely to have a major impact on the meeting purpose. Have a topic and a goal and stick with them.

5. Full Participation.
Encourage full participation at all times. Try to ensure that everyone feels that they’ve had the opportunity to “have their say”. Some participants may want to out talk or talk down others. Stop this sort of thing the moment it starts.

6. Encourage Small Meetings.
Where only a few participants are qualified to speak on a particular aspect or issue, encourage them to meet separately and report back to the whole group. This also ensures that your meeting isn’t bogged down in discussing technical matters where few participants have the expertise to participate fully.

7. Record Decisions.
Make notes of any conclusions or decisions reached. Record to whom responsibilities are allotted with deadlines. Circulate this information to attendees after the meeting. If another meeting is necessary, schedule it before people leave. If you need another meeting, it’s best to arrange it while everyone’s together.

Conclusion.
Meetings can be boring, tedious and even unpleasant. They can also be effective, purposeful and enjoyable. Every business meeting should enhance and improve business progress and success. If that’s not the case in your business, try these tips.

How To Plan and Select Meeting Rooms for Your Business Meeting

Business meetings can be staff meetings, sales presentations or business proposals to potential investors. When you have an important business meeting coming up, you need to make sure that everything is perfect if you want to make the proper impression. That is why you should take the time to find the right room and use the proper steps to create your perfect meeting.

Multimedia Presentations

Your meeting rooms need to be able to accommodate multimedia presentations. That means having a screen to project on to and a monitor to connect a computer to. The room should be arranged so that everyone can see the presentation and the presentation needs to be large enough to be clearly seen by everyone in the room.

Internet Connection

Social media and Internet tools are important parts of the new age of business meetings. Not all of your attendees that want to attend your meeting are going to be able to be there in person. But you can still allow important people to be part of your meeting by having an Internet connection and video-enabled computer in the meeting room.

The right kind of computer will allow people to use video conferencing services to see what is going on in the meeting and offer their insight as well. Your video conferencing software should allow remote attendees to share documents and make document changes in real time. Your meeting room computer should have an Internet-enabled video camera to allow your remote attendees to see what is going on in the meeting.

Many of the social media platforms allow for multiple people to utilize a single video conferencing system. This can be a great way to save money on video conferencing services for your company an your remote attendees.

Attendees

Create a list of attendees at least a month in advance and send out meeting notices as soon as possible. When you get your RSVP list, that will tell you how large of a meeting room you are going to need.

Utilize social media platforms to allow people to RSVP for the meeting, share insight into the meeting content and ask any pertinent meeting questions.

Agenda

A comprehensive meeting agenda, which includes meeting times and the names of people who will be making presentations, should be circulated to all attendees at least two weeks prior to the meeting. This will allow attendees time to prepare the materials they will need to attend the meeting and contribute.

Encourage attendees to ask agenda questions prior to the meeting so that all attendees may benefit from the answers. You can use social networking platforms to allow attendees to submit questions and then utilize those platforms to submit answers as well.

Each business meeting should have a defined purpose in order to get people to attend and contribute. When you spend the necessary time to prepare your meeting materials and find the perfect meeting room, then that will significantly improve the quality of your meeting.

Getting the Most Out of a Business Meeting

Most of us spend a large part of our work day going from business meeting to another without bothering to assess if we are actually gaining anything out of them. Is there a way to make business meetings more productive?

In order to make the most out of a business meeting you need to improve the productivity of each such meeting. Every meeting should extract the maximum possible for the duration that it lasts. Do not try to make a meeting cover everything under the sun. Instead, try to make sure that the items on the agenda for the particular meeting are covered effectively. At the end of the meeting, the participants should leave knowing the tasks that they need to accomplish.

Here are a few more tips to get the most of out your business meetings.

Business meetings should never be held on an ad hoc basis. You should prepare for a meeting in advance. Start by listing the objectives of the meeting. These objectives need to be clear, specific and measurable. These will help you check if you have covered the meeting goals. You will also waste less time trying to get to the point. List out the expectations or results that you expect from the meeting. During the course of the meeting, encourage the other participants to contribute with their ideas and opinions so that you have their buy-in. The more involved people are, the quicker you will be able to see results. Focus on the bigger issues at hand and do not let tertiary issues take over the meeting. Allow the tone of the meeting to be casual but do not let that make the participants treat the meeting as being frivolous. Leave the jokes for later.

Do not invite people to business meetings unless their presence is required. Just invite those who can actually contribute to the agenda of the meeting. This avoids wasting time for those people who are not really required. Business meetings should be held in a pleasant environment that makes the participants feel relaxed and comfortable. If required, you could rent out an office or conference venue for the meeting so that people have the opportunity to unwind.

Although you have prepared the points that need to be made do not be in a hurry to get to them immediately. Set a steady pace for the meeting and start by making everyone feel comfortable. The tempo should neither be too slow nor too fast.

A Meeting Planner Can Help Organize Your Business Meetings

Private-sector employees have now to attend plenty of meetings regularly. These people are aware that a badly planned meeting can cause plenty of stress apart from being boring. In order to plan a proper meeting and avoid being tedious companies that lack the organizational skills can use the help of a meeting planner. These people play a dual role by being the organizer as well as the facilitator for the meetings. Generally, there is a feeling among companies that organizing a meeting is not difficult and all that needs to be done is arrange a few chairs and invite the staff. Unfortunately, these habits can lead to a meeting becoming repetitive and over a period of time, the staff members may consider such activities as unnecessary.

A meeting planner will work differently and will, in the first place get all information necessary from the company about the meeting. He or she will then configure the area to suit the type of meeting planned. Setting up the room before the event is something, which they will be looking forward to. Such events deliver the best results when people attending the same can get their message across and therefore, a circular roundtable arrangement is best suited. Configuring a room like a classroom will make it seem that lectures are being delivered and will make the meeting look less interesting.

The planners will also look into the factors of organizing the get together in a proper way. They will have an agenda prepared apart from handouts or pamphlets that may be required. A tangible guide for the business meeting will be prepared to help both the speakers, and the listeners remain on the same page. Such factors will help the meeting progress smoothly.

Livening up the meeting is another factor that will also be considered. It is a fact that most business meetings tend to get repetitive over a period of time. Therefore, some distractions are necessary in order to liven up the audience. Managers of an organization may not realize this factor, but a meeting planner will definitely consider them.

The primary job of a meeting planner is in specializing and helping an employer make business conferences run better. The best among the lot have all the skills required to organize, prepare and ensure that all individuals get the information that the employer needs to exchange. They also spare the time to allow for an interactive session during which questions can be asked and answers received.

Gone are the days when managers of a company could be entrusted with the task of arranging such matters. Today this is a specialized task, which is better managed by a business-meeting planner.