Meeting Tips

50 Quick Tips for Efficient Meetings

Whether you’re a total beginner or a meeting pro, below are 50 simple tips for improving your meetings, both in-person and remote

Whether you’re a total beginner or a meeting pro, below are 50 simple tips for improving your meetings, both in-person and remote:

  1. Answer the question ‘Why am I organising this meeting’ before scheduling it.*
  2. Ask yourself if you can skip the meeting and sort it out over email/chat instead.
  3. Don’t invite more than 6 people – see Miller’s law.*
  4. Add an agenda in the invite with items to discuss, listed as bullet points.*
  5. Order the agenda items by importance – most important one first.
  6. Put a time limit on each agenda item.
  7. If it’s a follow-up meeting, add to the invite the key decisions/actions from the last meeting.*
  8. In your invite, add relevant information for participants to read, ahead of the meeting.
  9. Make it clear what information is required or optional to read.
  10. If relevant, ask participants to write their individual update and share it before the meeting.
  11. Don’t schedule meetings for Monday morning — people are too busy!
  12. Don’t schedule meetings for Friday after 4pm — it’s almost the weekend!
  13. Try not to schedule meetings for the middle of the morning or the afternoon — it’s more disruptive.
  14. Invite decision makers if you need decisions made in the meeting.*
  15. Don’t invite people who have nothing to contribute or are not needed to achieve the desired outcome.
  16. If you still do, mention in the agenda who’s required and who’s optional.*
  17. List in the agenda who is invited and their respective job titles.*
  18. If it’s not obvious, mention in the agenda why X person is invited.
  19. Don’t book a 10-person room for a 4-person meeting.*
  20. Schedule 25 minutes meetings (vs 30 minutes) and 50 minutes meetings (vs 1 hour) — see Parkinson’s law.*
  21. Gather questions and potential agenda items from participants ahead of the meeting.
  22. If you’re planning to schedule several meetings a week, create them all together.
  23. If you’re not in the office and can do the meeting remotely, do so.
  24. For important ones only, send a meeting update earlier in the day to remind participants.*
  25. Hit the bathroom before the meeting starts.
  26. Get the logistics of the meeting ready 5min earlier, remote or face to face.
  27. If you need your laptop, make sure it’s charged enough ahead of the meeting.
  28. Start the meeting on time, late-comers will know better next time.
  29. If the meeting lasts less than 20 minutes, do it standing up.
  30. If the meeting is longer than 1 hour, do a 5 minute break every 45 minutes.
  31. Back-to-back meetings should be spaced out by at least 5 minutes.
  32. At the start of it, ask one participant to share something interesting that happened to them recently.
  33. If participants don’t know each other much, ask each one to introduce themselves in 30 seconds.
  34. In less than 1 minute, explain why you’re having this meeting.*
  35. Assign someone to take notes during the meeting.*
  36. If not the meeting organiser, assign someone to facilitate the meeting and track the time.*
  37. After 15 minutes, give the opportunity to speak to participants who haven’t yet.*
  38. Show good meeting etiquette: be on time, don’t check your phone, listen first & talk second.
  39. Ban phones and/or laptops unless there is a clear reason for it.
  40. If you share an opinion or an idea, use the PREP framework.
  41. Stick to the agenda but keep notes of anything else discussed to address at the end.*
  42. Favor healthy conflict over unhealthy peace.
  43. Let participants leave the meeting if their input is not needed anymore.*
  44. At the end of the meeting, list aloud the agreed key decisions and next steps.*
  45. Finish the meeting on time, even if you still have things to discuss.*
  46. Ask for feedback at the end of the meeting.*
  47. Share the notes with key decisions/actions listed on top, to all participants.*
  48. Store the notes in the relevant repository, not just in emails which can get buried.*
  49. Add any task/action from the meeting the you are responsible for, to your To-Do list.*
  50. Don’t be a robot, stay human and enjoy the meeting!

*Meetric can help – learn how Meetric can make your meetings more productive and engaging.

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