Get More Out of Your Meetings – By Travis Glenn

by Colleen on October 29, 2014

tl;dr Boring meetings suck! Here are a few tips to make sure your meetings are effective, interactive, and enjoyable.

Do you like meetings? Many people say they don’t. Some consider meetings a waste of time. There is even a poster in our office that says “Less Meetings More Doing!” Although companies can sometimes spend an excessive amount of time on meetings, that doesn’t mean there is no value to them. feedfront-28-cover-small

Have you ever actually enjoyed a meeting? Of course you have. We don’t really hate all meetings. People dislike bad, ineffective meetings. It’s a great experience when we attend a meeting and walk away feeling like we’ve learned something, or accomplished an objective.

Think about some of the meetings you have attended. Client meetings, staff meetings, vendor meetings, job interviews, conference exhibitor meetings, whatever the topic or setting. If the meeting feels boring, pointless, and lacks a clearly defined purpose, it can seem to drag on forever.

Effective meetings are short, concise, interactive, and convey the primary focus of the meeting to all of the attendees. A good meeting will accomplish goals and objectives, and elicit action from those who participate.

Here are some tips to make sure your meetings are effective, interactive and enjoyable:

Preparation

For the most part, successful meetings are not just thrown together. A little bit of planning goes far when preparing. What is the purpose of the meeting? Are you trying to close a deal with a potential client? Are you getting your employees on board with a new project or policy directive?

Whatever your purpose, know it, write it down, research it. Work to anticipate any questions, comments, objections, or distractions that you could occur. Being prepared will make the meeting run smoothly, and help you appear more confident and collected.

Atmosphere

Keep the mood lively and interactive. If you are droning on in a monotone voice, or using an overabundance of technical jargon and meaningless platitudes, you will lose your audience. You don’t have to be a stand up comedian, but be conversational and engaging.

One strategy to keep your audiences attention is to involve them in the meeting. Get input from everyone on a new strategy you are implementing, and present your proposal in correlation to the suggestions others mentioned. If you are interested, passionate, or excited about what you are talking about, this will transfer to the others present. If the best you can give is a dull, robotic delivery, you probably should avoid having the meeting altogether.

No matter if your next meeting is a one-on-one situation or an address to a huge group of people, you can make it a great experience. We’ve all sat through plenty of bad meetings. Use these as examples of what not to do. Do some pre-planning, and know what your objectives for the meeting are. During the meeting, keep it upbeat, engaging, and relevant. Be respectful of everyone’s time. Follow up with a recap if necessary, and make sure to measure progress made after the meeting.

We’ve all got plenty of meetings ahead of us; let’s make the best of them!

Travis is PeerFly’s Director of Business Development, you can follow him @TravisPeerFly on Twitter.

This article appeared in issue 28 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in October 2014.http://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-28

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