As a human resources leader, Marshall Alston has heard many complaints from employees about business meetings. Some say they take up valuable hours in the day, do not keep people on task, or are otherwise a waste of time.
However, business meetings can in fact lead to higher productivity, innovation, and other progress if conducted in the right way. Through this blog, Marshall Alston aims to help business leaders run meetings effectively and productively to keep both employees and business owners happy.
When having a business meeting do you ever feel scrunched for time, not listened to, or even lost because you just do not know how to effectively run your meeting? There are some important tips below that can help you stay organized, run in a time efficient manner, and keep people interested along the way.
It is important that during a group business meeting you have an objective. This objective will help keep everybody on course if stated in the beginning right away. Always state your objective first thing during your business meeting or preferably before the meeting even begins. Not only can individuals prepare on their own for the meeting, you can also have an outline of what your meeting is about and the direction it is likely to take. This process can cut a lot of time off of long meetings and get employees back to work.
With business relying on innovation and uniqueness to really stand out and grow, Marshall Alston recommends trying new things in meetings to keep things moving and keep everyone involved. He encourages business leaders to step away from the typical PowerPoint presentation when possible. Graphics, charts, and other images are great, but it is also important to not simply read from a screen and instead engage others in a conversation. Keeping people alert and on their feet during meetings can help move things along and also shows that everyone in the room is on the same page.
One way to try something new in a business meeting is to change up the environment and scenery every once in a while. Marshall Alston recommends taking the meeting outside on a sunny day or holding the meeting in a nearby restaurant or cafe with lunch. These tactics have proven to make people more actively engaged and more creative.
Always meet face to face.
Do not do a Skype or any sort of online call in a group if you can avoid it. It is not as effective as an in person group meeting. It is important to know who is engaging in the conversation and who isn’t. It is harder to have an important business meeting when it is held online or through an email thread.
In general, just get rid of the laptops!
Throughout his professional experience, Marshall Alston has found that laptops can be distracting and keep people off task. When people are attached to their screens with the internet at their hands, they are more likely to miss an important topic or piece of information voiced in the meeting. Instead, keep it simple with a pen and paper.
Staying concise, on topic, and engaged during a business meeting is crucial to optimizing time, money, and workload for each individual and the company overall.