Effective Meeting Strategies

How many times have you sat in a meeting and realized it could have been an email? Or, worse, how often have you come out of a meeting realizing there were a dozen things left to cover, and you’re leaving with more questions than answers?

Meetings are an incredibly important part of your startup, and learning how to conduct an effective and efficient meeting is a tool that will serve you for life.

Read these 4 tips on effective meeting strategies.

1. Send out a meeting agenda at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting

Sending out a meeting agenda ahead of the meeting does 3 things. First, sitting down and writing out your agenda makes you think about why you’re having a meeting in the first place. The act of putting it into words may help you realize this meeting could be an email after all! Second, it confirms the purpose of the meeting before anyone has even step foot into the room, making it more likely everyone stays on track. Second, it allows the rest of the meeting attendees to chime in if they think something is missing, without derailing your meeting or taking away time from substantive discussion.

2. Make space for everyone to speak

This tip is particularly important for discussion-oriented meetings. Managers or senior team members can find themselves speaking more, but make sure to create space for everyone in the room to speak. Allowing everyone to speak fosters an environment of creativity and trust, and you might just hear an idea you hadn’t thought of.

3. Leave time at the end of each meeting to summarize the discussion and agree on action items

Nothing will waste your employees’ time more than having a long, substantive meeting, only to leave undecided on what’s next. Make sure to leave 5-10 minutes at the end of every meeting to get everyone on the same page. Then, write out action items as a group. This improves accountability and reduces the chance of miscommunications and missed deadlines.

4. Follow up after a meeting with a summary and action items

Those 5-10 minutes you left at the end of your meeting? They’re coming in handy again! Write up a quick summary of the meeting, as well as the agreed upon action items, and send it out to everyone who attended. This serves as a reminder of the most important notes from the meeting and as a reference point for future tasks.