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Business Wisdom Productivity Software March 6, 2015

5 Tips to Host Better Meetings

Do you dread going to or hosting meetings?

Do your employees prefer to suffer from untimely, terrible illnesses rather than come to one of your meetings?

Meetings that are scheduled and strategized poorly hurt company productivity in a big way. A few simple changes can transform your meetings from negative to positive experiences.

Jason Fried gave an inspiring TEDx talk about how managers and meetings can actually hurt productivity more than they help. In it, he mentions how workplaces should be places where people can accomplish big things, not the place where employees need to escape to get things done.

Here are some easy ways to make your meetings better, faster, and stronger than ever before.

1. Be considerate of employees’ workflows.

When selecting a time for a meeting, consider what each person would be doing at that time.

A meeting disrupts whatever each person was doing prior to the meeting. Depending on their work, interrupting that flow can force them all the way back to the beginning of the process.

Don’t schedule a meeting directly in the middle of productive time. If employees arrive at 8:00 and most take lunch at noon, a 10:00 meeting ensures no one can be productive for more than two hours at a time, and that’s assuming there are no other distractions. 

Know your team’s work patterns, and schedule necessary meetings that allow employees as much uninterrupted work time as possible. Also try incorporating meeting-free days to allow maximum employee focus.

2. Decide whose attendance is absolutely necessary

Unnecessary attendees kill productivity and morale. 

An unnecessary attendee can’t get work done while in the meeting, and the lack of productivity extends to the time he or she spends frustrated about wasting time in said meeting. 

Only invite the people who will take action with the meeting’s content. Information can be disseminated in other ways that are less time-consuming.

3. Stop giving presentations and calling them meetings

LinkedIn has stopped giving presentations during meetings and found that meeting length has drastically reduced.

Give attendees the meat of the meeting’s content prior to the starting time and utilize the time together to actually talk about it, which should be noticeably shorter in length.

It’s a much better use of everyone’s time to analyze and apply information instead of presenting information that could be consumed individually.

4. Stop using paper handouts

It wastes trees! But more importantly, people tune out as soon as they’re presented with pages of text. 

They will either stop listening in order to read or refuse to read because they’re listening. Even worse, they may refuse to read or listen. Go paperless and make the necessary content digital and interactive. 

Use a tool like Meetings powered by Spruce to create a private app for the meeting and load it up with resources like spreadsheets, photo galleries and videos. Distribute it before the meeting to let people get familiar with the content. Attendees bring their iPhones or iPads instead of a big packet.

5. Find alternatives to meetings

Often what needs to be accomplished in a meeting can be achieved through brief, casual conversations in email or instant message.

Emails and instant messages allow employees to reply in their own time instead of being forced into a conversation right now. Instant messages can resolve quick questions and issues without waiting for them to pile up for a meeting.

Just be sure to remain professional, even via instant messaging.

Here’s to more productive workplaces and time wellspent!

About Meetings powered by Spruce

Meetings is designed to make managing and editing digital marketing material easy for teams, clients or board meetings

Using any browser, you can upload videos, images, and PDFs to customize a meeting presentation. 

With our native iPhone and iPad apps you can privately send the presentations straight to your mobile devices. You can create multiple meeting presentations and share them with anyone through private passcodes.

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