Meetings can feel overwhelming and stressful at times. There can be so much you want to convey in such little time or you have to share your ideas with a large group of individuals you may not know. You may feel stuck between feeling unprepared and feeling over prepared and unnatural. Whether you are having an important meeting at your local conference services or with your team, the meeting planning tips below can help make this meeting your best one yet. These tips can make your next meeting be wonderful without being too superficial.
Meeting Planning Tips
1. Make Sure You Really Need a Meeting
Before you head to your hotel conference centers in your area, be convinced that this meeting is necessary. If this meeting could easily be sent in a memo or email, do so. Having a morning full of meetings can lead you to be behind on your other work. If the contents of the meeting can be conveyed through an email or memo, do that instead as it shows your coworkers that you value their time. Meetings should be a valuable time for you and your coworkers.
2. Organize the Meeting
Now it’s time plan the time and location for the meeting. It’s difficult to find a time that is convenient for everyone, so make sure to check everyone’s schedules to find a date and time that most of the people are available. Then stick to this time because most people are too busy to have to go back and forth about the time of the meeting. Find a venue that has the capacity to hold everyone attending. The purpose of a meeting is usually to brainstorm ideas, inform the attendees, or training, so keep in mind when you are searching for a venue that this space needs to be conducive to the purpose of the meeting.
3. Stay Focused
It seems simple, but if you are leading a meeting and you are drifting on with your thoughts, others are probably having trouble following as well. To be focused and productive, make sure you plan what you will present during your meeting. Create an agenda and send it to everyone who is attending the meeting.
That way everyone is on the same page. This also shows to the people attending that you are well prepared. If you feel the meeting is getting off track, be sure to steer it back to these predetermined discussion points. A chaotic or scatter-brained meeting could leave coworkers feeling confused and cause them to miss major ideas.
4. Watch the Clock
When you are heading to your business meeting rooms, make sure that you are on time. If you don’t have a clock to help you with the time, try getting a watch to make life a little easier. After that, watch the clock and make sure you end on time. Remember that others’ days are just as busy as yours. If people know that you are going to end on time they will feel more relaxed and participate more during the meeting.
A good strategy is to schedule the meeting for slightly longer than you think that you will need. This way if the meeting lasts longer than expected, people won’t get irritated by the overtime. If it ends at the time you believe it will, then the other people will be happy about the seemingly early ending.
5. No PowerPoint Presentations
When you go to your meeting room spaces, make sure that you do not have a traditional PowerPoint planned. Instead, use pictures, videos, or slides with a few words to enhance what you are saying. Too often people use PowerPoint slides as a crutch to make sure they covered everything and end up simply reading off the slide.
This leads to people reading the slide and no longer paying attention to you. The whole point of a meeting is so that you can present your own information and ideas; don’t let a PowerPoint do that for you.
6. Set Goals
Before you start the meeting, set some goals you want to achieve. Is there something you want to get out of this meeting? What points do you want to hit? These are questions you should ask yourself, so that when you enter the meeting room you have know exactly what you want to do and you can confidently lead the discussion.
7. Strike a Balance Between Professionalism and Comfort
People who are uncomfortable will be irritable and unhelpful. They might try to rush through the meeting. On the other hand, skewing too far in the opposite direction can lead to lack of motivation and the appearance of unprofessionalism.
You want to make your audience feel comfortable and engaged while still appearing and presenting your ideas professionally. There can be a fine line between the two and finding that balance can be the key to making your meeting the best it can be.
Meetings may not be the most exciting event in your life, but using these meeting planning tips could help relieve stress and make them more manageable. While preparation and diligence are important, overthinking can create problems that were not there before. Do what works for you and makes you the most comfortable so that you can handle the meeting the best you can. Hopefully you found these tips and suggestions helpful and good luck to your future planning endeavors.