Whether you're scheduling a meeting for a brainstorming session, a project-kick off or even to deliver a team or company update, there are several steps you will want to take to ensure that your meeting is going to be both efficient and effective.
Below are 10 tips to keep in mind the next time you have to schedule a meeting with your team or colleagues.
1. Establish a Clear Objective
Before scheduling time on your coworker's calendar, ensure you fully understand the meaning and objectives behind the meeting you're planning to schedule. In a world where "this could've been an email" is a famous phrase in office culture, don't let your meeting turn into one of these. Think about what you hope to get out of the time you're scheduling, and let that guide you to establishing an objective and setting the agenda.
2. Set the Agenda Prior to the Meeting
We've all experienced it - those meetings where you show up, but you don't really know why you're there. Make sure your attendees are aware of their purpose for a meeting and set and distribute the agenda prior so that everybody is on the same page. Not only will this help you be more prepared with a set schedule, but it will also give your colleagues the opportunity to be prepared with thoughts, ideas and questions for the meeting.
3. Schedule Meeting Reminders
Another situation we've all found ourselves in, working away diligently when suddenly you realize you were supposed to have joined a meeting five minutes ago. Set your coworkers up for success, and set those meeting reminders for at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time.
4. Assign a Notetaker
If you're going to be the one who is mostly presenting during a meeting, it doesn't make sense for you to be the designated notetaker. It won't be easy to effectively run the meeting while also taking notes the entire time and efficiency is key for an effective meeting. Assign someone on your team and/or someone who will be heavily involved with the task or project on which this meeting is about to take notes.
5. ...But Still Take Your Own Notes
While you shouldn't be the sole notetaker, as mentioned above, it's still crucial to take note of anything that sticks out to you that can't be missed. Additionally, you could record the meeting if your coworkers are comfortable with that so you can go back and listen for anything that may have been missed.
6. Use the Right Equipment
Make sure you're set with the equipment you need before the meeting to ensure everything runs smoothly. Do you have the latest updates on the tools you're using? Does everyone in the meeting have access to the equipment that will be utilized? These questions are more important than ever now that our world is so digital and most offices have full-time or part-time remote workers.
7. Make Sure There's Time for Questions
You will want to ensure that everyone fully understands the objectives, takeaways and action plan(s) from the meeting. Be sure to schedule time for questions in your meeting agenda. If there isn't time for questions, make sure everyone knows who to reach out to or set an additional meeting.
8. End the Meeting with an Action Plan When Applicable
Not every meeting requires an action plan at the end, but if your meeting does, make sure everyone knows what it is. Questions regarding the action plan could arise, and you'll want to ensure they are answered on the spot for a smooth process or project plan going forward.
9. Send a Recap of the Meeting Via Email
Be sure to send a meeting recap afterwards, this can be sent by you or your designated note taker. This will ensure that everyone is aware of any notes that they need to know or action items they need to follow through with.
10. Schedule Any Other Needed Meetings Right Away
Lastly, get any follow-up or additional meetings related to this one on everyone's calendars right away. This will help you stay on a steady timeline for the project or task you and your team are working on.
Follow these 10 tips for an effective meeting that will keep you and your team organized and accountable. Is your team primarily remote? Learn 7 ways to improve communication with remote employees here.