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Hosting business meetings, especially these days, can be rather difficult. You only have a limited amount of time to get your point across, and sometimes the audience may not be particularly engaged.
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If you don’t prepare properly, you’ll find that your meetings are just wasting time rather than accomplishing what you want them to. So, with that in mind, here are some tips you can use to make the most of your next business meeting.
Have a Clear Goal and Agenda for Every Business meeting
The first thing you need to do is decide on the goal and agenda for that meeting. If you don’t have a clear direction as to what you want to talk about, the meeting will quickly go off the rails. You should have a specific goal in mind for each meeting. Also, have an understanding ahead of time the steps that will lead you to reach that goal.
For example, let’s say the goal of your business meeting is to improve your marketing strategy. By the end of the meeting, you want to have a clear plan in place for how your marketing team can move forward. One of your agenda steps may be to analyze past marketing campaigns. Another might be to brainstorm new ideas. Having this in writing, and letting other meeting participants know the goal beforehand, will help to get everyone in the right mindset.
Plan Business Meetings Ahead of Time
Another key ingredient is planning your business meetings ahead of time. You need time to set an agenda and make sure that everyone who needs to attend can make it. If you try to schedule your meeting at the last minute, some people will not be able to attend. Moreover, those who do may not come prepared. Give your team members as much warning as you can to have the most effective meeting possible. If the meeting is far in the future, send out a reminder a few days beforehand to ensure no one forgets.
Delegate Segments of the Meeting
If the business meeting is covering a big topic, you likely won’t want to do all of the talking. A more effective method is to delegate parts of the meeting to others. This will allow each person to fully focus on a smaller aspect of the agenda and explain it to everyone else.
Going back to the previous example, you could have one person discuss the past results of your email marketing strategy, while another person covers your social media marketing. This strategy gets more people involved and keeps them engaged throughout the meeting.
Make Your Business Meetings Fun
You may be having a business meeting that is voluntary, but you would still like as many people as possible to come. In this situation, it can make sense to try to add some fun to your meeting. This strategy works for all kinds of meetings, not just in the business world.
According to Ardent, a property management company in Atlanta, you can increase attendance at HOA meetings by making it fun. “It may be gimmicky, but it works on some people. Also, giving away cool and fun prizes brings feelings of joy and excitement to the meeting.”
Have a Clear Way to Communicate
Communication is harder lately. Many of us are not able to have business meetings in person. This means we need to find another way to communicate.
For your meeting to be effective, you need to rely on technology to make this possible. You should explore video and phone conferencing options before you set up the meeting, to ensure they are viable for your situation. You may also need to allow some time for other participants to get the software. The last thing you want is to run into technical difficulties on the day of your meeting, so work out all the bugs beforehand.
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Finally, you or someone else should take notes during the meeting. You’ll want to write down what was discussed, ideas that come up, problems mentioned, and anything else of importance. These notes will come in handy after the meeting when everyone is planning out the next steps. You may also have some people who missed the meeting, who can then use the notes to catch up. Another option is to record the meeting so that there is a complete record of it later.
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Don’t Waste Your Meetings
Time is precious, so don’t waste any of it during your business meetings. With a little preparation, you can make each minute of your meetings have a purpose and get everyone back to work sooner. Try out different strategies for running your meetings, see what works, and then adapt going forward.