Six tips for exciting meetings


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Published September 11, 2013

Six Tips for Exciting Meetings

A few weeks ago, I wrote you about staff meetings. What some refer to as, “the dreaded” meetings.

In that e-mail, I describe a large crowd where I am leading a Seminar. I ask the group: “How many of you feel your staff meetings are important and effective?”

No one raised their hand. Not one person!

That’s the truth of it— some meetings can be a miserable and unproductive experience. But meetings are important. How can you make them more productive? Even inspirational?

I am going to give you six tips. They will help you plan a highly effective, even exciting, meeting.

First, let me suggest an idea that could easily change the entire mood and focus of the meeting. Try it.

Place an empty chair in the meeting room. Make certain everyone knows the donor is in the chair. Participants in the meeting should consider the donor’s feeling and input before making any decisions.

Here are my six tips.

1. Write out the objectives for the meeting. What are you hoping to achieve? What high aspirations do you want participants to take with them when they leave the meeting?

2. Circulate the meeting agenda at least 24 hours in advance. Ask participants what they wish to add or have included.

3. Small wonder the meetings are dull and languid if you only have participants making dull and languid reports! You can liven a meeting with active discussions (even heated) and a decision or two that has to be made.

4. Start on time— even if a few come staggering in late. Don’t penalize the punctual.

5. End on time. Let everyone know in advance when you will end the meeting. Stick to it.

6. Appoint someone (not the Chair) to take 10-minutes or so at the end to summarize key points— indicate what action steps were discussed. Pass this role to different people at each meeting.

 — Jerry