Every event planner will tell you: If you’re planning a business meeting the first thing you must do is write down your objectives. What is it that you want to achieve with the meeting? Sales? Consensus on a strategy? Suggestions for change? Team building? Operational change? Introduction of a marketing campaign?
Research shows us that there are five proven ways to hold effective meetings – productive meetings that help you to meet your objective. Some may sound a little strange but we’ll say it again – these methods are proven to work and are used by forward-thinking innovators like Apple and Google.
Here they are:
1. Write an Agenda
Write up an agenda which is focused on the objective of the meeting. Structure your presentation, talk or team meeting like a path leading to your goal to make it a more productive one. Don’t get led away from that path – stick to your agenda and allocate timing for each item.
2. Use Humour
Use a little humour to get your audience to relax and join you on the path to your objective. Don’t use too much as it can be distracting (and it’s not a popularity contest) but make it a part of your communication.
3. Be Active
Develop some activities to get your audience involved, encourage discussion and prevent them from mentally wandering off: Include role-playing, questions and answers, competitions and even walking: A study from Stanford has found that it markedly improves inspiration.
4. Next Steps
One of the most important parts of the meeting is what happens afterwards. You need to spell out the next steps that need to be taken and define everyone’s responsibility. That way, everyone knows what to do and the effect of the meeting will last longer. Trust us on this one.
5. Change Environment
One of the best, and easiest, ways to make your business meeting more productive is to change the environment. Hold it somewhere else – a coffee shop, in the park, a hotel meeting suite – A change of scenery can really bring out the creative thinking.
There they are: Five easy ways to hold more productive meetings. The sixth way is our favourite: Asking the Meetings & Events Team at the Fitzwilliam Hotel to organise everything for you. Click here to talk to us about planning your next, more productive, meeting.
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