There are meetings and then there are meetings; one might be a creative 1-hour brainstorming session and the other could be a 30 min snooze-fest. Meetings are a necessary evil when it comes to syncing teams or individuals for collaboration, teamwork and project management. Luckily there are ways to avoid the worst pitfalls and time-wasters even before the meeting begins. Here are 5 tips for how meetings can be improved.
- Never have a recurring meeting every week. Call for a meeting when it’s needed instead of scheduling one just because it’s Wednesday. It’s a waste of time and resources to have staff break their focus and attend a meeting “just because.” These kinds of meetings do not usually bring any advantages, and if the purpose is to share updates on ongoing projects it’s better done via email.
- Always end the meeting with an action plan. If the meeting does not generate any actions, or solutions to issues, it was probably not needed in the first place.The goal of any meeting should be to agree on actionable points that can improve or bring a project forward.
- Switch to standing meetings. A very good practice to keep meeting length to a minimum is to stand up. It’s hard for people to endlessly discuss a topic when their legs get tired. A certain degree of discomfort makes attendees want to finish quickly and that’s something to strive for. Increase productivity in meetings by standing up!
- If presenting something, don’t use the same old and boring power point slides. Use a program like Prezi to create an engaging and story-driven presentation. Always try to inject a bit of humour into otherwise dry subjects with the help of pictures or videos. This will help the presentation to be more memorable and less likely to cause attendees to nod off.
- Limit the number of attendees. One of the most common phobias in the world is Glossophobia: fear of public speaking. If you want an engaging meeting where everyone participates, have no more than 5 people attend the meeting.
There you have it, 5 simple ways of improving both the quality and time spent in meetings. If you implement these 5 practices, project management will be made easier and more effective.