6 Tips You Can Use Right Now to Facilitate Your Meetings Like a Boss
Meetings can be invigorating and exciting, but they can just as easily get out of hand. Participants speaking out of turn, new topics being introduced, and people arriving late, are just some of the things that can quickly sideline even experienced meeting facilitators.
Here are some tips you can implement to ensure a successful and productive meeting every time:
Always Have an Agenda
This may seem like an obvious one, but even casual meetings need to follow a format. Distribute the agenda ahead of time to participants that way everyone knows how to prepare and what to expect. Even if you don’t create a formal agenda, as the meeting facilitator you should guide the meeting and ensure that an appropriate amount of time is spent on each meeting item.
Only invite the participants that really need to attend your meeting. At the risk of not excluding others, we often feel the need to “over-invite.” While being inclusive may be well intentioned, having too many attendees can prevent participants from having enough time to speak and may alienate others. No one wants to attend a meeting without a clear purpose.
Break the Ice First
Have an icebreaker ready to open the meeting. Don’t go overboard. A quick stretching exercise, stress balls, a coffee station, are all great icebreakers that don’t require huge effort or planning, and can help you kick off the meeting and put participants at ease.
Avoid Putting Attendees on the Spot
This one ties back to having an agenda, but no one likes going to a meeting unprepared. Sometimes people need time to think about what they’re going to say, while others show grace under pressure. Respect your audience’s approach to managing meeting participation.
Don’t Dwell on Unrelated Topics
Unrelated topics are the easiest way to derail any meeting. Your role as the meeting facilitator is to keep everyone on point. Topic discussions should be directly relevant to your meeting’s purpose. Recommend discussing separate topics offline or at a different meeting.
Respect Everyone’s Time
Start and end your meeting on time. Don’t assume that everyone can make accommodations if a meeting runs over. Unless there is a critical reason to extend the meeting time, stick to the schedule.
How else can meeting facilitators rock their meetings? Share your own tips and thoughts with on Facebook.
Other blogs you may be interested in:
- Marketing Monday
- Building a Thriving Workplace Community: 4 Ways to Start
- Has The Popularity Worn Off for Co-working Space?