Running Effective Meetings

WRITTEN November 19, 2015 Author: Rich Atkins

Conduct Effective Meetings:

All our work efforts are to increase productivity and reduce wasted time. As a result, the meetings we hold had better be important ones. Use time well by running effective meetings.

To avoid being “The Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf,’” (in other words, becoming known for holding lame, purposeless meetings), we must be sure that our meeting agendas are action-packed with value for attendees. In no time, they will realize that when you call a meeting, it’s for a good reason.

When attendees expect meetings to have a purpose, be productive, and be respectful (in length and content relativity), they’re happy to attend and give their best.

Organization, planning, and clarity ensure effective information exchange. Facilitators need to be more concise and communicate with conviction. With these qualities, you will run more productive sessions, increase performance satisfaction, and open a dialogue with the audience.

Make The Most Of Your Meeting

  • Determine the Purpose and Make It Clear
    What are we trying to accomplish? What’s the goal? What’s the end-game?
  • Know Your Audience
    Who are you inviting? Who really needs to be there? Only allow good sources of information, and avoid wasting other people’s time.
  • Respect People’s Time – have and follow an agenda
    Have and follow an agenda. Your plan must include what to cover and its timeline (how many minutes per item). Share/post it for all to see. Keep people focused.
  • Cut Off / Shut Down Disruptions
    Pay attention to audience members’ use of devices, and focus everyone on the subject at hand. If need be, stand near them to see what they’re using the device to do. Correct unproductive meeting behavior, or ban technology for meeting times.
  • Follow Up
    Within 24 hours, highlight decisions and necessary action items. (Who does What by When?).

Meetings are valuable and necessary. A well conducted meeting, will almost always result in greater productivity and focus. The purpose is to connect people as team members, allow the sharing of ideas and objectives, not waste time. Let the attendees of your meeting have the opportunity to contribute to the process and to the results. 

Take the steps to prepare and run effective meetings and you will ensure the success of your team, your project, and ultimately your company.


This information is from the Improving Communications Running Effective Meetings training class, which is a part of our Leadership & Management Training curriculum. Need to find a way to improve your overall communication skills? Register for one of our upcoming public classes in NYC.


Photo is courtesy of TEDxAmsterdam, under Creative Commons Licensing

Other Resources about Effective Meetings:

5 Tips For Running Effective Meetings: Improve Meeting Management Skills

Why are effective meetings so valuable in business?

12 Proven Tips for Effective Meeting Management

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