As a business person or entrepreneur, you sometimes need to meet with people to discuss issues concerning your businesses. A business meeting usually amounts to a waste of your precious time if not well handled.
You may be the meeting facilitator or was invited to a business meeting. Yet, you finish without being able to pinpoint anything that has been gained for the hours spent. And time is the most precious resource anyone can have. It is non-renewable, so you must avoid wasting it.
There are things to avoid and things to put in place in a business meeting to get the best out of it for the benefit of all involved, here are 5 tips which have been proven to be very effective:
1. Highlight The Goals
There should be things you want to achieve by setting up the meeting or attending it. Those things should be in perspective as the meeting proceeds so as not to lose focus of the objective of the meeting.
Related Article: Avoid These: 5 Reasons Why Most Startups Fail
It is normal that during conversations, people tend to drift away from the main point. But, if the goal of the meeting is highlighted, it will serve as a lodestar to guide participants to remain on course.
You can do this by writing down a list of what you intend to achieve in the meeting and make sure all is achieved before the end of the meeting.
A business meeting or any type of meeting should involve everyone present. The meeting should not be overtaken by just a section of the people present.
Every ‘participant’ must ‘participate’ in the actual sense. Everyone should be given the opportunity to participate so that the desired goal can be reached unanimously.
If a person is not important for the meeting, such person should not be invited in the first place. Anyone and everyone present at a meeting should be opportune to contribute.
It is very important to be creative and ingenious in planning a meeting. This should be considered in the choice of venue, sitting arrangement, activities during the meeting, etc. There should be something different from the status quo.
Make the atmosphere interesting so that people will not get bored easily. At times in a meeting, some participant or speakers may just be annoyingly boring. They have to be considered, some people are not just as interesting as others.
You may arrange the chairs in a circular position in which everyone sees one another. There may be coffee to keep people alert, and lunch to refreshen people, depending on time and financial budget. Just keep it as creative as affordable.
There should be a timetable and maybe a timekeeper so that time will be effectively and efficiently managed. Every goal set for the meeting should be achieved within the time-frame.
Each participant should be acquainted with the timeline so that each would know when time is being wasted. If this is not done, it is either the meeting holds for more time than planned or the goals of the meeting would not be met.
This may have a bad effect on that meeting as people may excuse themselves to attend to some other important activities on their schedule. This can also make the meeting scanty and crappy. It is very important to plan a business meeting time and stick to the plan as the meeting progresses.
5. Summary and Minutes
At the end of the meeting, a summary should be made by a chosen person. This gives every participant an opportunity to have a full insight of all what transpired during the meeting.
This is also advantageous to people who came late as they will be acquainted with the discussion that took place before their arrival.
Related Article: How Multinational Companies Run Their Meetings (Infographic)
Also, minutes should be taken by a secretary so that it would be kept as a record and read at the next meeting if there will be any.
Conclusion on how to facilitate a Business Meeting
The above tips should be taken into cognizance for the full optimization of a business meeting. Too many unproductive business meetings are often held. These tips are very useful and effective in convening and participating in a business meeting or any meeting at all.