Leading a board meeting or any type of business meeting in an effective way takes preparation and practice. Whether you are a CEO, a Seattle SEO Services Manager or even an administrative assistant at some points you will probably be asked to run a meeting. Your meeting may have anywhere from 2 to more than 20 individuals. However, I want to focus this article on meetings with a small group ranging from about 3 to 10 people because this is probably the attendance of most board meetings and business meetings. Like I mentioned earlier being an effective facilitator of a meeting takes practice. Here are some helpful tips to get you started:
- Be prepared. Have a clear reason for meeting and prepare what you’re going to talk about ahead of time. Don’t just wing it.
- Arrive to your meeting early so that you can set up any PowerPoint presentations or visual aids. Have any worksheets r printouts available and greet your attendees as they arrive.
- Get started right away. No one likes to take time out of their busy schedule for a meeting that starts 30 minutes late. Honor and respect the time of others by starting right away.
- Have a clear agenda and let that be known from the beginning. Print out the agenda and hand it to each individual in attendance so that everyone is on the same page. If there is no agenda then you’re meeting will have no focus and you will probably not accomplish much at all.
- Don’t try to conquer the whole world in one meeting. Pick an objective and stick to it. Have one focus and one thing you want to accomplish and then anything else that gets done is bonus.
- Make sure you receive input from everyone involved. There are talkers and there are individuals that are more quiet and reserved. It is your job as the facilitator to not let one person talk the whole meeting and to also pull out the ideas and opinions of those that are more quiet and would not normally share. Just because they don’t volunteer to share right away doesn’t mean they don’t have good ideas.
- Stay on topic. It is also your job as the facilitator to make sure that you are not wasting everyone’s time by chatting about what you ate for breakfast or where you’re going on vacation. If people want to stay and catch up after the meeting is adjourned that is great and on their own time, but don’t waste everyone else’s time.
- Make sure you finish on time. Like I mentioned above, we all have busy schedules. Some people might only have the hour they allotted for the meeting and have to be to their next meeting right away. So make sure you finish when you said you were going to and then people that have extra time can stick around and socialize.
By following these tips above and having a strategic focus you will accomplish what you need to in your meeting and gather effective input. Most business people spend all day going from meeting to meeting feeling like they’ve accomplished nothing. By being prepared and organized you can actually accomplish tasks and be productive.