Can you comfortably say that the meetings you hold and/or attend are as effective as they could be? The following are ten characteristics of effective meetings.
1. The seating in the room is arranged so that every person can see everyone else.
2. At the front of the room, equipment is provided to record ideas and decisions. An easel holding a newsprint flip chart (with felt-tipped markers for writing) is preferable, so that the recorded data can be saved. A white board (with special felt-tipped markers) or a chalk board and chalk can be used, but must be erased after the meeting.
3. An agenda for the meeting is presented, amended, and agreed on.
4. Time estimates are determined for each agenda item.
5. At least once or twice during the meeting, someone asks, “How are we doing in our process today? How can we be more productive?”
6. During the meeting, someone records the ideas generated and the decisions made. These data are prepared in handout form afterward and distributed to all concerned.
7. The meeting notes indicate who has agreed to do what before the next meeting, and by when.
8. Dates of future meetings (not just the next meeting) are set well in advance so that people can make arrangements to attend.
9. Those in attendance consider whether anyone else should be involved in the decisions/future meetings and, if so, who.
10. At the end of the meeting, people review and confirm who will be doing what before the next meeting.
L.L. Larkins is a public speaking consultant based in Manhattan Beach.