Meetings. The bane of every professional’s 9-5 existence. They go longer than they’re supposed to. People talk over one another. Your mind drifts to anything but the topic you’re supposed to be conferring over.
But, believe it or not, not all meetings are total timesucks and not all meetings are boring. Some run like clockwork. With a few adjustments, your next meeting can run smoother, too. If you’re planning the next conference room get-together, here are three tips to help you get started:
1. Keep the meeting between four and seven people
Too few and someone dominates the conversation. Too many and nobody gets their voice heard. It might require a little tact, but only invite the people that are truly important to the tasks you’re trying to accomplish at the meeting. These people can disseminate the information to others afterwards.
2. Save updates for emails
Most meetings begin with long updates from previous meetings. If at all possible, send out an “update email” ahead of time and save everyone the brain drain and the time.
3. Choose a meeting captain
You need a bulldog to keep the meeting on the agenda’s topics. Pick someone who can tactfully remind people when the meeting has gone off the rails that other topics can be scheduled for future meetings. Derailing agendas are the main culprits for meetings that run longer than scheduled.
With an attendee nip here and an agenda tuck there, they can be much more efficient, productive and, if you’re lucky, even a little fun.