Employees often don’t like to attend meetings when they have a lot of work to finish. However, the meeting could be productive if it generates a golden decision in the end. If you are a meeting anchor, you can use the following tips that help conduct a formal workplace meeting. In this article, you can see the steps to prepare and conduct an effective formal meeting. Do the exercise several times to get your meeting on track!
You can display well-structured agenda templates in order to pass your schedules beforehand.
Planning an effective meeting
All meetings can be effective if you poise your agenda according to the purpose of the meeting. So, message your meeting purpose and objective as early as possible to your participants. Everyone might be busy with many projects, so arranging a convenient time for the participants is essential to conduct a formal meeting effectively. Before we start discussing the prime points, keep the following tips that are easy ways to make a formal meeting effective.
- Arrange the venue for the meeting, either physically or virtually
- Start on time
- Circulate the meeting agenda prior to the meeting
- Be open to questions
- Talk clearly with supporting evidence
- Avoid too many formal talks; no one wants to waste time on such formalities.
- Present the purpose and the goal of the meeting as early as possible that help attendees mingle with the topic
- Avoid lengthy recaps
- Assign a person for note taking
- Designate two or three additional speakers who have depth knowledge of the topic
- Be precise, don’t put too many items in a 30- or 45-minute meeting
- By asking questions, keep your participants engaged and interactive
- Set sensible time frames to complete action items and tasks
An effective meeting is all about preparation. So, prepare until and unless you get a clear view of how to arrange a formal meeting. Use the following steps to plan a meeting.
- Define the purpose of the meeting
Attendees and anchors can’t go to a meeting without knowing its purpose. So, meeting conductors are liable to define the goal. For example, whether you are meeting to restructure your team, solve a problem, make an important decision, or motivate employees to enter a new project.
- Prepare meeting agenda
Normally people feel that they can walk into the hall and give a tantalizing speech. It doesn’t work. You need to plan before you act. Even participants need a copy of the agenda to act constructively. So, if you are the key speaker, you must prepare a schedule to arrange the meeting sessions on target. Besides, if you have an agenda, you can ensure everything you want to discuss is being considered in the meeting. For example, introducing the new participants, passing resolutions, new interim budget allocations, etc.
- Set a time schedule
The meeting should be strictly scheduled according to the participant’s convenience. Otherwise, you can’t get them on time, so that starting will take longer. It should start and end at the stipulated timeframe you have set. Don’t waste your time waiting for latecomers. It would irritate and penalize those who have already come there. Besides, don’t arrange your workplace meeting on weekend days or later afternoons. People may dream of wandering with their families when you speak in meetings at weekends.
- Choose attendees wisely
Depending on the purpose, you can decide the size of the participants. For example, if you want a detailed discussion, increase the size. If you’re going to solve a problem while in discussions, then trim the size. Remember the old proverb, “too many cooks spoil the broth.” 7-10 people for a formal meeting is a maximum. You can add more numbers to transmit new information without discussions. The main idea behind choosing participants should depend on the value-creation skills of the participants. For instance, if someone can provide valuable ideas for decision-making, you can add them to your list.
- Provide all important information before the meeting starts
Often you conduct a meeting to pass something important. Or you are seeking expert opinions. No matter what you want to get, provide any background information before making gatherings. Give enough time to analyze the purpose of the meeting, documents, concepts, and the overall agenda with your expectation. Do not waste time discussing anything personally. When you discuss personal matters, your entire effort to get new ideas and solutions will become waterlines. Besides, ensure your expectations are transmitted to the participants with their full meaning. Finally, the meeting should aim to produce solutions, not describe an issue.
- Avoid scheduling meetings in the 11th hour.
Urgent meetings never fulfill your goal. What will happen when you are invited for an hour-long meeting five minutes before lunch? Your team will undoubtedly blame you and participate in meetings without productive discussions. Their body language will say what is happening in their minds. You don’t get proper opinions in such arrangements. Then you need to mobilize the team with consequent meetings.
- Stick on the agenda
Take the lead from the beginning, and ensure the meeting is going according to your schedule. If there are no newcomers, skip introducing and get to the point. Quickly remind the purpose and agenda of the meeting. State what you are anticipating from the gathering. It should aid save time for details. Stick to the agenda when the discussion is overriding beyond your purpose. When you are confined in the subject matter, you could be confident to talk with your subordinates and superordinates.
- Decide what tools to use
Choose appropriate tools that support you in the entire meeting. For example, you can use an audio recording device, presentation templates, and a screen-sharing platform to ease your presentation.
- Assign a person to take meeting notes
In formal meetings, the presenter can’t take notes on their deliveries. So, it is better to delegate someone else to take meeting notes. Normally, people prefer ladies to do this job.
- Ask feedback
If the meeting was larger, ask the people how to improve in the future. Then, recall your talk and analyze which area you have made errors in.
Conducting an effective formal meeting needs to know the purpose and agenda in detail. It comprised of how to plan an effective meeting, what makes an effective meeting, how to prepare for a meeting, and how to pass a resolution or make decisions in the meeting. Therefore, it requires a set of skills and knowledge. However, whether formal or informal conducting a meeting depends on certain practical laws. You will get it by keen observation when attending a company meeting.