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Tips for making meetings more efficient


There are many factors that help make a meeting efficient. These factors include planning and organizing but one very important factor is communicating. If there is no communication involved during a meeting, it is most likely far from efficient and more likely to be just a waste of time. Be sure to speak loudly, do not yell, but use a strong tone of voice. Make an effort to make eye contact at least one time with every person at the meeting while you are speaking, this is not always possible, especially when there is a large number of people. Exhibit confidence in yourself and what you will speaking about. Be sure you really understand the subject matter, do the research needed, if necessary. If you do not fully understand what you will be discussing with others during the meeting, people will know and the meeting will be unproductive, wasting your time and the time of those that are present. Your appearance should be professional. People will take you far more serious. If it is more of a casual meeting, you will want to dress more casually.


If you would like to receive feedback, be sure to encourage open communication. One way to encourage open communication is to ask open ended questions, which require more than just a yes or no answer. Listen objectively to comments and opinions and offer suggestions when appropriate. Remember to always show your appreciation for any feedback and opinions that are given. A simple thank you is sufficient. Never criticize or belittle someone's opinions or ideas, no matter how ridiculous it may be. When criticism is made about a suggestion or idea that has been given, it will only discourage others from expressing their ideas and views in fear of being ridiculed. Open communication is particularly important during meetings about change. During this type of meeting, be sure to inform people about key issues and answer any questions or concerns directly and honestly.

Make sure your actions are consistent with your words. If you say you are going to do something, be sure to do it. Future meetings will be more efficient and taken more seriously if you take the appropriate actions and follow through with what you said during the meeting.

You will want to stay on schedule but by allowing people to participate in a little friendly conversation amongst each other before meetings will help create a comfortable environment. This can also help as an ice breaker and reduce any tension that may be present.

If you want to have an efficient meeting, it is best to get straight to the point. You might want to start off saying something like "The purpose of this meeting is to _____" or "I want to spend some time today discussing _______". Try to not stray from the intended subject. You will also need to keep others focused on the subject before them. At the end of the meeting, summarize briefly what has been said and then ask if there are any questions or comments that need to be addressed.

Here are just a few tips to promote good communication, which can help make meetings more efficient:
- Use language that is easy for everyone to understand.
- Know what you are talking about, don't try to "wing" it.
- Encourage others to participate by asking questions, offering suggestions or by giving their opinions. You may want to have a pen and note pad handy to write down feedback from others.
- Anticipate questions that people may have and how you will answer them.
- At the end of the meeting, be sure to thank everyone for coming. Also, let people know how to contact you if they have any questions at a later time.

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