The truth about corporate life is that we spend too much time in meetings. Meetings can be ineffective if they are too long and attendees are multitasking during meetings making them ineffective.

So, how do you run a shorter and effective meeting?

When calling meeting leaders and managers must pay attention to the following points:

Know the Meeting Purpose

Identifying the purpose of the meeting is key to decide whether you need a meeting. If you have an update for your team, instead of a team meeting, send a structured and clear e-mail with the information they need. Ask questions like “Why do you need the meeting and what do you wish to accomplish?” These answers will help you set the purpose and design of the meeting as well.

Set the agenda

A clear meeting agenda reduces time wasted by focusing only on the important topics in the meeting. Also, it gives attendees a chance to prepare to make it more effective.

Limit Attendance

Nobody should be at the table just to listen. Invite attendees to accomplish your purpose, and whose input, support, knowledge, or expertise is needed to reach the meeting purpose. Make sure the right people are invited, available, and committed to attend.

Stick to Schedule

Meetings can run from 10 minutes to 10 hours. And, Parkinson’s law is best demonstrated here; meetings will take as much time as we set aside for them. Start meeting on time, adhere to schedule and end the meeting on time. Leaders can set the example by adhering to the schedule.

Avoid Technology Intrusion

To increase focus and contribution to the meeting, ban or restrict the usage of mobiles, laptops, iPad. You need attendees to pay attention to the meeting instead of emailing, replying to messages, or doing other tasks.

Appoint a Meeting Facilitator

The meeting facilitator will ensure that the agenda is being addressed and remind participants about the need to move on and address something else if one item on the list is stealing all of the time.

Recap and Follow-up

One of the biggest reasons for ineffective meetings is failing to record, recap, and follow-up on action items, next steps, and important meeting outcomes. To avoid different interpretations by participants, share details of the responsibilities given, tasks delegated, and any assigned deadlines.

Time saved by running shorter and effective meetings will help you focus on even more important tasks. Clarifying purpose, designing meetings, and sticking to the design will help leaders keep their meetings shorter and more effective.

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