Tips To Effectively Lead A Meeting

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Shobana S
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A minute into the meeting and I can usually tell whether the meeting is going to be triumphant with the meeting goals met and every attendee satisfied, or if it’s going to be just another productivity-killer where all the attendees are disengaged, bored, and are counting seconds until the meeting is declared over.

On average, a typical US employee spends nine hours in a week attending meetings, but most employees, that is, more than 33% of them believe that the meetings they attend are a waste of time. This was found out through a nationwide poll from Clarizen, a software company.

Regardless, conducting an effective, successful meeting is so important to grow an organization. And when you’re leading a meeting, it gets hard to deal with different sets of people with varying opinions, but managing the meeting nonetheless, speaks volumes about your leadership qualities.

The following tips should help you effectively run a meeting:
  1. Be prepared, organized, and prompt
    This rule applies to every meeting. Have an agenda ready beforehand, and distribute it with an adequate time before the meeting starts. Start and end the meeting on time. Nobody wants to stay in the meeting for a longer time than discussed, you’ll lose your attendees’ attention and engagement at the same time.
    Protip: You can use a meeting assistant that has pre-designed meeting templates. Templates help easily structure the agenda.
  2. Process the guest list
    Know that not everybody that is capable of attending the meeting can provide value to the meeting. If a person need not be there, then trim the list. Adding more people to the meeting only adds more complexity.
  3. Start with a grappling statement
    Lead the meeting with some engaging, interactive questions. Do not dive into the details of the presentation slides immediately. Being the lead, let everybody have a fair chance to express their opinions. Ask input from people who haven’t spoken, make everybody feel inclusive so that the participants don’t lose track of what’s happening.
  4. Leverage technology for online meetings
    Meetings on Zoom, Meet and other video conferencing platforms have become very common in recent times. Although online meetings are harder to organize, if carried out systematically, can yield the same results as offline meetings, if not better. People do not want to join the meeting only to find that the facilitator is experiencing some technical issues with the audio/video system. So, make sure everything is set up beforehand.
    During the meeting, use speech-to-text software that can take automatic meeting notes. This helps boost the meeting productivity. Use other tools that help with your meetings too. There are a lot of Zoom integrated productivity tools like Marsview Notes that help elevate your online meeting experience.
  5. Follow Up
    Once the meeting is over, make sure to distribute the minutes, share the Zoom recordings so that everybody can be on the same page and get to work on their part immediately.
Eventually, with time, you can master your meetings and also make the most out of them!
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A collection of good solid tips. I am an advocate of taking minutes for every project meeting. I like to send them out immediately after the meeting. To facilitate this, I prepare a draft email, listing all the attendees, meeting title and introduction so I can literally paste the meeting notes and send. I find that sending them late often means they are forgotten and actions don't get done, at least, not in a timely manner.

Any other tips for good meeting etiquette?
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