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.

Tips for Planning Business Meetings

It is always advisable to consult professional meeting planners if you dream of planning successful business meetings. These are professionals who are very knowledgeable and who are certain to make your event a successful one. It is not mandatory to seek the services of one however, since with a few guidelines, you can successfully plan a meeting. Below are quality tips to help you out.

The theme is very important. It is important that the agenda is compelling so that you can attract a lot of attendees. It is true many business people like to attend events, but no one is going to attend any event that sounds dull. Additionally, the agenda should have one theme to avoid overwhelming your attendees. Remember the theme is what holds your meeting together.

You have to choose a convenient date for the meeting. Even with the most appealing agenda in this world, a meeting that is not scheduled on convenient date is likely to be assumed. Depending on the main reason of the meeting, choose the best time for everyone. If it is a seminar for instance, scheduling it in the morning is advisable. Appreciations are best scheduled after work. Do not schedule them on holidays.

The guest list you compile must be an appropriate one. Remember that your business agenda must address a specific audience. It is therefore important that you carry out some research on any guests you would like to invite, to ensure they are well suited. If your meeting is open to the masses, get in touch with them as early as possible. Advisably, you should invite guests of similar rank like yours.

Make a point of inviting your guests as early as possible. This is one of the most crucial factors that determine the attendance you are going to get. In addition, you have to constantly remind them about it, especially those who have confirmed that they are going to attend. Come up with unique ideas to create excitement for the event.

The partners you choose must be reputable. This is a business meeting, and any business partners you choose must have the best reputation ever. Take your time to research comprehensively about any partners you would like to be involved with. Researching on the internet about a company is advisable, but it is not enough. Consider asking around about the company in question.

No meeting can be successful without a viable budget. Make a point of planning well in advance to avoid getting unpleasant surprises in the long run. If there will be food and accommodation, plan appropriately so that you know the amount of money the event needs. Equipment and labor are other things that should be planned for in advance as far as money is concerned. You should also set aside enough money for unforeseen expenses.

You have to be flexible when planning business meetings. Anything can happen and you need to know what to do. The equipment you have hired might not work, your chief presenter might get held up somewhere or maybe the caterers fail to show up. Prepare yourself for such incidents so as to tackle them well in case they arise.

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.

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