In the quest for an effective meeting, here are some substances that we think
should be banned from the boardroom.
I'm not advocating a total ban, I do think PDAs should be
a controlled substance in the meeting room. If someone is
using a PDA to contribute to the meeting to download
meeting notes, schedule follow-up sessions or swap contact
information great. But all too often, PDAs get the
most mileage when a bored participant decides to amuse himself
by e-mailing friends or composing a weekly grocery list. If
this is the case, it's time to ban PDAs and make your meeting
While cell phones were something of a status symbol in the '80s, we're
way past that now. Turn your phone off whenever you're in a meeting
if a call is that important, you shouldn't be in the meeting.
I've said it before and I'll say it again PowerPoint is a great
tool for formal presentations. But it's an unnecessary time-waster if
you're simply giving your colleagues a quick update on a project. While
you may experience some initial resistance to a PowerPoint ban in your
weekly meeting, everyone will thank you when they're able to leave 15
Coffee and Doughnuts
While a total ban on coffee and doughnuts in the meeting room would
be akin to banning shoes in the 100 m sprint, these tempting morsels
should be classified as a controlled substance. The problem with coffee
and doughnuts is that participants will subconsciously prolong the meeting
until the coffee pot is empty and the last Boston Cream is a distant
memory. If you simply must have refreshments to endure a meeting, limit
the snacks to one per person and distribute them at the start of the
Uninvited guests frequently turn up at meetings. The same people who
proudly assert their hatred of meetings will voluntarily attend meetings
that are completely unrelated to their jobs. And as any seasoned meeting
planner knows, the more people in attendance, the harder it is to accomplish
anything. If your meetings are plagued by additional attendees, announce
the meeting strictly to those people whose presence is required. If
meeting groupies persevere, politely but firmly tell them that they're
not required at this meeting.
Technology is a great way to improve productivity, but too many people
abuse it in the meeting room. For example, if you know what Bill in
accounting looks like, there's no need to schedule a videoconference
a conference call or data conference will be just as effective.
Remember, if you
really want players to adhere to the rules, you'll have to enforce them.
If a participant breaks one of these bans, make her record the minutes
at the next meeting.
1. Source: www.uselessknowledge.com
My Meeting Room