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“Meetings at work present great opportunities to showcase your talent. Do not let them go to waste.” — Abhishek Ratna, Top 100 Marketing Influencer and AI/ML Marketing at Google.

 

A meeting agenda helps you and your colleagues prepare for a meeting and guide yourselves through the items you need to discuss.

 

When meetings are appropriately organized, they can be an excellent opportunity to keep your team in sync and build teamwork, trust, and motivation. However, an ineffective meeting can derail productivity even after it’s over.

 

 

Let’s check these 7 tips for planning and facilitating influential meetings.

 

 

1- Determine if the meeting is necessary

Before spending the time and effort scheduling and holding a meeting, ask yourself if you can accomplish your goals more quickly by circulating a memo, sending an email, or including the information in a future meeting that’s already planned.

Be protective of your own and others’ time. Meetings take time and should only be used when you get everyone together to talk.

 

2- Have a clear purpose

Decide the issues for inclusion in the meeting and their relative priority: importance and urgency.

Important matters do not necessarily need to be resolved quickly. 

Urgent matters generally do not warrant a lot of discussions. 

Both urgent and important matters are serious priorities that need careful planning and management.

Always have a clear purpose; otherwise, don’t have a meeting. 

 

3- Convene the right people

The decision about who is to attend depends on what you want to accomplish in the meeting. Sadly, there’s no magic formula, so you’ll need to use your best judgment. 

Choose meeting participants who can make a unique contribution. It is tempting to be inclusive, but sometimes having more people in the room makes meetings harder. 

Invite the minimum number of people needed to achieve your goal. This allows for quicker decisions, and lets teams test their ideas without the interference of groupthink.

Meetings are expensive, so be thoughtful about who you invite.

 

4- Set an agenda

The point is to have an agenda that speaks to the result you want and what activities need to occur to reach that outcome. 

Next to each major topic, include the type of action needed, expected output (action assigned to someone, decision, vote), and time estimates for addressing each issue.

If you can’t describe what you’ll be doing in actionable, results-oriented terms, that’s a sign holding the meeting would be a waste of time.

Include your agenda in the invitation so people can determine whether they need to be there and, if not, decline the meeting or suggest someone else. 

5- Do a sanity check

After reviewing your agenda, consider whether what you want to do is doable in the amount of time you’ve got. If not, scale back expectations or schedule another meeting to address some topics.

 

6- Guide the discussion, manage disruptions, and summarize decisions

A helpful technique for guiding a conversation is to capture essential points on a board and mark them as following agenda points or flag them for a follow-up meeting. 

Find ways each employee can get involved in the meeting in a way that fits their strengths. Always use a tone of productivity and positivity.

Make sure you take notes throughout the meeting. Wrap up at the end by summarizing the main points and decisions and any next steps you agreed on.

Your role is to keep the discussion focused on meeting your objectives. So, be mindful not to meander off-topic for too long or dive too deep into technical discussions. 

 

7- Manage the follow-up

Your meeting notes will be the basis for a debrief to be circulated among attendees, summarizing the discussion points, decisions made, next steps and topics earmarked for future discussions. 

Follow up individually on the action items if needed.

 

 

WEEKLY VOCABULARY 🗣

Technique: a way of carrying out a particular task, especially the execution or performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure.

The magic formula: a simple and sure way to an end.

Effortless: requiring no physical or mental exertion.

Priority: the fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important.

Showcase my skills: to exhibit attractively or favorably. 

 

 

PHRASAL VERBS

Bring forward: to change the date or time of an event to happen earlier than planned.

“The meeting has been brought forward to this Monday instead of next week.”

 

Jot down: to write something quickly on a piece of paper so that you remember it. 

“I jotted down most of the details from the meeting to help me relate it to my new team.”

 

 

IDIOMS 📒

To run a tight ship: a well-managed organization. This metaphoric term alludes to a ship in which the ropes are taut, and by extension, the ship is strictly managed.

 

To keep someone in the loop: to keep them updated on the progress of a particular project or situation.

 

 

Related Articles:

Meeting vs. Reunion https://www.englishpriority.com/meeting-and-reunion/

Effective Oral Presentations for Non-Native English Speakers https://www.englishpriority.com/effective-oral-presentations-for-non-native-english-speakers/

Organizational Climate https://www.englishpriority.com/organizationalclimate/

 

 

 

 

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