Whether face-to-face or via video conferencing, certain steps can help you get the most out of your meeting

Like them or loathe them, meetings are a staple part of almost any organisation’s day-to-day. And when you run your own business, it’s up to you to schedule, lead and review your meetings in order to get the most out of them.

But it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to planning meetings, especially in the early days of your enterprise. With that in mind, here are our five top tips for more productive meetings. Let’s take a look.

Be clear about the objectives

Before you arrange your meeting, decide what you want to get out of it, and what you want others to get out of it too. It may be simply to share information with the group, or to come to a decision on a particular issue. It may be to lay out ideas about a particular project, or to simply network. It may even be to pitch a new product or service, or introduce a new member of staff. Whatever your aims are, having them at the front of your mind from the outset will help you conduct a focused meeting.

Prepare an agenda and share it

Another way to maintain focus throughout your meeting is to prepare an agenda in advance. This will deliver the structure of the meeting and help others prepare and complete any necessary actions before the meeting takes place. It also ensures that you stay on topic and to the point, with signposts to help you move things along when necessary.

A strong agenda should include various factors such as a title, date, time and location, as well as a list of attendees, discussion points with the names of those responsible, and any other business you’d like to cover.

Make timekeeping a priority

Nobody likes a meeting to go on longer than it needs to, and this is inevitable when people turn up late. You don’t want anyone to be rocking up to your meeting after the starting time, and you certainly don’t want that person to be you. Tardiness can waste other people’s time and result in frustration and strained communication – particularly if it has a knock-on effect on other meetings or general productivity. As such, it’s important to make timekeeping your number one priority going into your meeting.

Give everyone the chance to speak

Some people are more than happy to talk during a meeting, while others may find it more difficult to make their voice heard. If certain measures aren’t put in place, you’ll find that some end up doing all the talking and others don’t have the opportunity to share their thoughts or ask any questions.

Put intentional effort into making sure everyone has a chance to speak. At the end of the meeting, open up the floor to questions so that people can ask for clarification on anything they are unsure about.

Ask yourself: is this meeting necessary?

There’s a running joke in the business world that a lot of meetings could have been an email. But like most jokes, there’s an element of truth here. Meetings are great for encouraging discussion and sharing ideas, but they also eat into everyone’s day and therefore put a temporary halt to productivity. If you find that you don’t actually have too much to cover in your meeting, consider making it an email or handout instead.

Got a business idea you’d like to get off the ground? Get in touch with the team at TEDCO Business Support today. Give us a call on 0191 516 61 02 or drop us an email at hello@tedco.org.

What we offer

TEDCO offers one-on-one support provided by a dedicated team of business advisors and a range of pre start seminars available to clients who are taking the first steps into self-employment. This could be looking at an initial idea and developing it further, looking at how to start a business plan, business competitors, business marketing.

Are you eligible?

If you are looking to start and grow a business we’d love to hear from you. Our friendly team of experienced Business Advisors are on hand to take your call to discuss the support available.

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