The boss called and asked you to run the next staff meeting.
You might know where the coffee supplies are kept and even where to buy the best croissants but in order to shine on the job, keep these meeting tips in mind:
Conducting a Business Meeting Tips
1. Know the goal of the meeting. Are you sharing information or seeking to solicit ideas? Establishing the reason for the meeting will help you to determine the best format and best use of time.
2. Set an agenda. Once you have an identified goal and purpose, you can then solicit agenda items for discussion or review. Be sure to let folks know how much time they will have to present ideas or their reports. Place the name of the person(s) responsible for each agenda report and how much time is allocated for presentation or discussion.
3. Establish roles. Most meetings have a chair person. It may be necessary to also establish a time-keeper who can remind folks of time limits if discussion of any particular item becomes lengthy. Does someone need to serve as secretary?
4. Establish rules. Will there be a break time provided or may folks leave the room as necessary?
5. Create a “TBDL”. Take a large sheet of paper and attach to the wall. Give everyone some paper or post-it notes. If anyone wants to ask a question or bring up a comment that is not pertinent to the discussion at hand, ask that the question or comment be written down and placed on the TBDL sheet. Near the end of the meeting, these comments and questions can be reviewed or distributed for any needed follow-up.
6. Review the agenda before starting the meeting. Does anyone have any changes or suggestions to make which will affect the business of the meeting or the outcomes of what is to be discussed?
7. Keep in mind that there are “verbal” and “visual” learners. Offer information both in writing and oral formats. Use PowerPoint presentations, handouts, charts as well as verbal presentation.
8. Record resolution on any items discussed. Note what actions are necessary, who is responsible, and timeframes for meeting goals or reporting.
9. Solicit comments from all members. Use a formal “go round the table” process if needed to bring out the suggestions of quieter group members.
10. Before ending the meeting, review the meeting and provide a summary of what was decided and what next steps will be taken. If appropriate, set the date and time for the next meeting before everyone leaves the room.
Run a great meeting and you might find yourself running the company in a few years!