Workdays are busy, and everyone appreciates a meeting that is run efficiently. How can you stick to a schedule and make the best use of everyone’s time?
Harvard Business Review offers the following tips to help keep meetings on track.
Plan your talking points. Ask yourself questions such as: What ideas do I want to raise in this meeting? What problems do we need to solve? What questions do I most want this group to discuss and consider?
Offer a clear objective. At the start of the meeting, explain exactly what needs to be decided, reviewed or accomplished so the team knows what to expect. Avoid vague verbs such as “exploring” or “addressing” that promise talk and not action.
Keep detours brief. When a tangential idea arises, even if it is a good one, consider whether it is the right time to discuss it. If not, steer the meeting back toward your agenda and follow up later about the unrelated idea.
End on an actionable note. Decide who is doing what next and when.