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Hosting Successful Meetings

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Many people hate going to meetings. Meetings are perceived as a waste of time, energy, and resources. This article will give the reader some tips for how to arrange for successful meetings. Successful meetings are short, planned, and meet a goal.

1. Have an agenda. If you do not have a plan for the meeting, why are you having a meeting? There should be some sort of procedure for making it through the agenda. Make sure that you stick to the agenda in your meeting. If an employee has an issue they would like to discuss, it should have been placed on an agenda for the meeting. The meeting will go much more smoothly if there is an agenda planned out. Everyone will appreciate having his or her meeting time handled in a respectful manner by the presentation of an agenda.

2. Turn the Blackberry off. What is the point of having a meeting when everyone in the room is somewhere else on their Blackberries surfing the Internet or texting another person. Statistics say that 40% of people at a meeting tune out through their smartphone or other electronic device. This is very unacceptable. At a meeting, employees should be listening to special data and tips for how to do their job better. At the beginning of the meeting, politely ask everyone to turn off his or her smartphone or place it in the silent mode of operation. If someone is not focusing, there is no need to single him or her out. Ask them if they have any questions about a particular point that was just discussed at the meeting.

3. Meetings should very rarely go over an hour. If the meeting is planned effectively and everyone is present, both physically and mentally, the agenda will be gone through in a very efficient and timely manner. If people have adequately prepared for the meeting, discussion will only need to focus on the implications of the details, not the details themselves.

4. Make sure that you have materials for the meeting in adequate supply. If you have a handout, bring extra copies. Handouts make it so that people have something to focus on. If you make a handout, your team will likely focus on the handout and not on something else, like a smartphone. Meetings are problematic sometimes because people do not often bring enough materials to go around. Handouts and other supplemental materials should be clear and easy to follow. Perhaps the company has a template for these types of things.

5. PowerPoint is good, but keep it simple. Your presentation should be relevant to the issues at hand. Do not try to derive the chemical model for aspartame on your presentation. You should provide relevant media, such as links to videos, text, and other useful information. Do not read off of your notes. You should have internalized the content of your presentation. You should also make the slides transition in a manner that is not overly elaborate.

6. Be respectful. Make sure that it is your turn to speak when you have a point to make. You can raise your hand or wait until the presenter or the person running the agenda asks for comments. When someone makes a mistake, do not point it out as an error of his or hers. Make it so that your questions and comments are thoughtful, useful, and relevant. You should never be condescending to anyone in a meeting, ever.

These tips will help you host successful meetings within your company. The company meetings that everyone dreads can be made more fun and useful by following the tips above. Remember that when you are in a meeting, the time being used is the unit of time multiplied by the people in the room. If you are wasting someone’s time during a meeting, they could be doing something elsewhere that would be more useful of their time.

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