How to Hold a Productive Meeting

1 – Invite the right people
Be sure to select meeting participants carefully. Not everyone on the team or on a board may be involved in the same projects, so be sure to know who’s doing what in your organization in order to determine whose attendance is important at your meeting.

2 – Prepare an agenda and stick to it!
Organization & time management is key to every successful meeting. Everyone is busy and time is valuable. Make sure to send out a call for agenda items to all participants a few days prior to the meeting. Ask for a time estimate for each agenda item suggested, not exceeding 20 minutes per item.

3 – Give people time to chat
If you are meeting in person, your meeting can easily get sidetracked by people chatting about many other things unrelated to work! If you want to give people the chance to catch up on their weekend activities, invite people 15 minutes before the start of your meeting.
This could look like this: Meeting starts at 9am sharp, coffee & refreshments available at 8.45am.

4  – Test your meeting ‘set-up’ prior to the meeting
So you invited the meeting participants for 8.45 am? Be a step ahead and arrive at 8.30 am to test your equipment, so you can chat with them once they arrive to grab their coffees.
Sharing your screen? Using a projector? Audio? Whatever technology you may be using, make sure to test it in advance. Nothing is more frustrating than wasting valuable time on technical difficulties.

5 – Welcome constructive criticism
Many ideas develop and improve through group discussion. Be open to new ideas, suggestions and constructive criticism. But be careful to know where to draw the line: It’s easy to let a simple discussion get carried away and lose focus on the main point.

6 – Assign tasks with deadlines
Make sure everyone in your team knows exactly what to do after the meeting. Everyone in the (virtual) meeting room should have a task assigned after meeting, along with a due date for delivery. If someone leaves the meeting without an assigned task, it might be an indicator that this person should not have attended the meeting (even though, there are exceptions). Prior to your next meeting, make sure that said person, is indeed required to attend. Remember – everyone’s time is valuable!