you only have a minute to spare? Need a few quick tips for
leading your next meeting? Check out the tips below!
1. Be Very Clear on the
Purpose of the Meeting
Before your meeting, set goals and decide upon the specific
objective for the upcoming meeting. Identify the desired outcome
for each agenda item to be discussed. Doing this will clarify
what needs to be accomplished during the meeting.
2. Begin Small Meetings
First introduce yourself and thank people for coming to the meeting. Review
the proposed agenda for the attendees. Briefly explain each item, so people
understand what the agenda topics mean and point out the time limit. Ask if
there are any questions. Doing this provides structure to the meeting and communicates
to the attendees that the meeting has a schedule and a defined set of goals
that must be accomplished.
3. Involve As Many People As
Possible During the Meeting
Ask silent people for their opinions, call on a variety of people, and don't
allow nonstop talkers to monopolize the discussion everyone will appreciate
it. Having a variety of people contributing not only creates an interesting
discussion but also promotes a more in-depth discussion. The more perspectives
that are involved, the better your group's decisions. Making an effort to involve
all participants also moves people from a passive to an active role.
4. Make Sure Everyone Understands
What's Going On
Throughout the discussion, it's a good idea to clarify and summarize what's
happening. This shows consideration for all of your meeting participants and
helps maintain focus during the meeting.
5. Remember That Time Is Important
Disorganized and unexpectedly long meetings can demoralize people. Try to put
time limits on each agenda item and select a timekeeper. Keep the meeting moving
and adhere to the schedule dictated by the agenda. Otherwise, your meeting will
go overtime and the attendees will become frustrated.
6. Assign Action Items
When action items arise from the meeting discussion, assign them immediately.
Select an individual, a priority level and a due date for the action item. This
way, no items will be forgotten or left unassigned. You'll likely get some volunteers
to help fulfill any remaining action items. Naturally, everyone wants to be
helpful and cooperative in front of their peers!
7. End the Meeting with a Summary
of Decisions and Assignments
Take five minutes to review the outcome of each agenda item, as well as
the action items list. Doing this ends the meeting on a note of accomplishment
and also reminds the attendees who's responsible for what after the meeting
adjourns. It's also a good idea to review the meeting process. Ask the group
what went well during the meeting and which areas need improvement. Take note
of the comments and try to improve on them the next time you lead your group's
1. From Better Business Meetings by Robert
B. Nelson and Peter Economy © 1995 by RICHARD D. IRWIN, INC.