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Let’s Talk Business: 5 Key Tips to Hosting Successful Meetings

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Hosting Successful Meetings

Part of being in a leadership position of a business in undoubtedly hosting business meetings. Here are 5 key tips for hosting successful meetings.

Although meetings are an important part of a company, they (by nature) aren’t very exciting. Some meetings leave participants drained while others leave attendees inspired and wanting more.

Meetings are a powerful tool that can set up your business for success. A poorly organized meeting can make people unsatisfied and wondering why they even attended.

Learning how to host successful meetings is one of the easiest ways to impact your teams and even your entire company positively. It can save your business money and increase productivity. Below are 6 tips for hosting successful meetings.

1. Set A Clear Goal

Having a clear understanding of why you need to hold a meeting can help run successful meetings. Setting a clear goal and scheduling time will help you and your teamwork towards achieving the goal. If you’ve not yet decided on a goal it’s probably a good idea to hold off on hosting the meeting to avoid participant-disengagement.

It’s crucial all participants understand the goal of the meeting. To keep everyone on track you need a clear objective for every meeting. Share meeting goals beforehand to allow participants to come to the meeting ready with ideas, possible blockers, and discussion points.

2. Eliminate Distractions

Phones, gossiping, and small talks are among the most popular reasons participants are distracted during meetings. Between social media notifications, emails, and texts, it’s not surprising that phones can destruct meetings. To fix this, ask participants to put their smartphones aside, silence them or switch them off.

Preventing side talk can be challenging but it’s not unavoidable. Identifying and avoiding trigger situations is an excellent way to deal with gossip. Whenever a colleague starts to do side chatter change the subject smoothly.

It might be tempting to engage in distracting talk but it’s better to avoid it. You can help the colleague get back on track by asking what they think about the previously discussed topic. If you must talk about work consider talking to someone who’s not a coworker so it doesn’t get back to someone.

3. Switch Up Location And Venue

You don’t always have to hold meetings in stuffy boardrooms where all attendants sit around a table. Meetings hosted outside the office can potentially improve everyone’s energy, and help everyone’s ideas to flow.

Depending on the kind of meeting you’re hosting, the size of the group, the props needed and the time of the day, you might need to host your meeting in a different location. Your meeting might not be successful if participants are crammed awkwardly around a small table.

You should consider having a meeting somewhere you’re familiar with. Ideally, somewhere you’re in control of the elements and not a dark space that might hinder creativity. For example, if you’re holding a meeting that requires people to be creative, then choosing an environment that’s conducive to ideation could be your best bet.

Beautiful views and natural light might help you here. Be sure to include any new location-specific details on the meeting invitation.

4. Start And End On Time

Time is money which makes watching the clock a critical factor in most successful meetings. A majority of meetings are scheduled for half an hour but most only happen for less or more than the anticipated time.

Hanging around waiting for the people in charge to arrive is a waste of a precious resource. Nothing drains the energy away from a meeting like waiting for the boss to show up.

There are many meetings where the key persons arrive late and no significant decisions are made. Remember that everyone’s time is precious and deserves to be respected.

Ending your meeting on time is as important as starting on time. A clearly defined meeting schedule helps ensure you stick to the agenda and allow people to attend to their other duties promptly.

5. Make Meetings More Inclusive

An inclusive meeting doesn’t always mean inviting everyone in the company to the meeting. If anything, meeting organizers should consider shortening their attendee list only to include people who’ll make decisions that get work done.

Think of inclusivity as a mindset─ a space where participant’s ideas matter more than their positions can help work get done. Remove the power structure in the room and let your venue be a haven for participants to express their opinions freely.

Focusing less on power struggles helps to eliminate ego traps that can slow down the meeting. It also allows more creativity to flow. Another great tip is to write notes.

Writing notes by hand will help them gain a deeper understanding of the material, recollect facts better later and learn more. Also, encourage team members to write down questions during the session. Writing questions during the meeting can help those who shy away from speaking up, get their concerns addressed.

Break the participants into groups with a different presenter leading each part of your agenda. Swapping group leaders help refresh attendees’ attention plan, encouraging participants to feel like they own a topic or the project.

6. End With An Action Plan

Set aside the last few minutes of your meeting to inform the participants of what will happen next. Deciding who will do what by when is the right way to end meetings with an action plan.

You also need to set a deadline when it should be completed. These action plans can be great subject lines of your follow-up emails.

Run More Successful Meetings

Meetings should always be informative and guide all participants in a unified direction. Running a successful meeting can feel like a difficult task, especially if they’re the default way your business shares information.

To hold successful meetings, you and your teams must be well-prepared to host productive meetings that will leave participants inspired. Having a clear objective, a solid agenda, and committed participants are good ways to start.

For more tips and advice, check out our blog.

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