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Post: Running an effective meeting

Have you ever been in a meeting and wondered why you were there? Whether you’re working on a group project or giving a pitch, we can all benefit from an effectively run meeting. Combining what I have learned from my education and industry experience, I want to focus on a few basics that will help anyone run an efficient and effective meeting.

Before I go any further, I’d like to apply the first step towards an effective meeting to this blog post! It’s important to provide your audience with some context about what you’ll be discussing.

In all meetings it’s important to:

  1. Provide a clear objective
  2. Stick to a schedule and be timely
  3. Follow Up

Provide a clear objective:

Before you can run a meeting, you have to get people to attend. When committing to a meeting, people like to know the details ahead of time (at least I do), and the “what it means for me” before actually showing up. Making sure you are getting the appropriate people details beforehand will start to set you up for success and ensure that you’ll have good attendance. The meeting could just be to inform or it could be more collaborative and interactive. Either way, let your invitees know ahead of time what you are covering and what will be  expected from them before, during and even after the meeting. When people feel prepared for meetings, they’re more likely to be receptive to what is being presented and come ready to contribute.

Stick to a schedule and be timely:

We live and work in very fast-paced environments, and people are busy. Having an agenda and starting and ending a meeting on time is not only respectful of peoples’ time but will help them stay engaged. Share your agenda prior to the meeting and also provide a copy for attendees to see during the meeting itself. Having the agenda visible will help your attendees follow along and keep them more likely to pay attention.

Follow up:

Although you have put in the work so far to share your objective and stick to a schedule, not everyone leaves a meeting on the same page. To ensure that your meeting will be as productive as possible, send a brief recap to the group with a summary and action items. And it never hurts to get the group’s feedback to improve your future meetings.

Not everyone loves being in meetings, but if you can stick to these three guidelines, you can be confident people won’t cringe when they receive your meeting invites!

Greta Lorr graduated from the Haworth College of Business in 2013 with a degree in sales and business marketing. Since graduation, Lorr has worked at organizations such as MSDSonline and LinkedIn in sales roles. She currently works for IBM in digital sales and is based in Chicago.


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