From being opportunities to discover common ground, have meaningful discussions and decide on mission-critical factors, meetings are becoming a dreadful waste of time. However, simple preparation techniques can help you avoid ‘runaway meetings’ and bring order to chaos.
Outlining your meeting plan is crucial to a meeting’s success. Make sure you (and everyone else supposed to be at the meeting) knows the agenda, the time allotted to the meetings, and the decisions that have to be taken (if any). It’s also a good idea to make a list of the people supposed to attend the meeting, and what is each member supposed to deliver or discuss. In fact, all this information should be circulated amongst meeting members some time before the meeting begins, so that everyone knows their role and that of other members as well.
If the meeting is supposed to include any sort of presentation, it’s the responsibility of the meeting holder to ensure that all required multimedia equipment is in place, tested and ready. Besides equipment, the timing of the meeting bears a mention. Early morning meetings are suitable if project-related decisions are to be taken. That would allow actual work to be accomplished based on this meeting (instead of leaving it for the next day). Similarly, review meetings should take place in the afternoon, allowing members to use that day’s experience to better evaluate the results.