6 tips for the perfect meeting

Love them or hate them, meetings are the lifeblood of many businesses.

Love them or hate them, meetings are the lifeblood of many businesses. Whether face-to-face, online or a combination of the two, interacting with our colleagues and customers in a formal meeting is not going away. It is where great ideas are formed, problems are solved, and lucrative business deals are struck. We are having more meetings today than ever, with many of them held virtually. No longer constrained by having to be in the same place or needing expensive video or audio conferencing facilities, tools like Skype, WebEx and GoToMeeting have made meetings easier to organise than ever, further cementing the role of the meeting in today’s business culture. 

Meeting apps have helped to make collaboration in a virtual meeting format easier, while apps like Slack have transformed the way teams interact, releasing people form inbox slavery and bringing greater meaning to the buzz word ‘collaboration.’ However, there is currently no equivalent app for the meeting lifecycle itself, helping you before, during and after the meeting to ensure that your  one-hundredth  meeting with a key client or stakeholder is just as productive as the first. 

The gamut of tools for hosting meetings make it easier for us to have meetings, so we’re having more of them, but they’re not making them better. 

They provide little or nothing in the way of meeting lifecycle management, and that’s a big problem. So, in this world of the omnipresent meeting, what can we do to improve the quality of our meetings? Here are 6 recommendations:  

All of these recommendations can be summarised under one heading; follow a good process. A comprehensive meeting process that is followed consistently will ensure that everyone knows what to expect from the meeting and how they can best contribute to it. As with any new process however, its success depends on the consistency of its implementation until it becomes a habit for everyone involved. 

They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Unfortunately, we have years of bad meeting behaviour and conventions to undo so it might take a little longer than that. Meeting lifecycle apps like Meetzoo are working to offer that help, by building tools that encourage good meeting practices and better collaboration. It is our mission to make meetings better by encouraging best practice through technology. But we know that good meetings don’t come from technology alone. They require action and a commitment to change. 

Can you commit to following these five recommendations for at least the next 21 days? I am confident that if you give them a try you will soon be having more productive, engaging and creative meetings every time.

Paul Lewis-Borman, CEO, Meetzoo
Image source: Shutterstock/Pressmaster

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paul is Founder and CEO of Meetzoo, a UK based startup that aims to improve business meeting productivity by ensuring continuity of thought and action in business meetings.