How to Conduct a Meeting

How to Conduct a Meeting

Would you like to get a reputation for being a fantastic meeting organiser?

In this article, I outline how to conduct a meeting. By following my meeting checklists you will know how to conduct a meeting.

I will first cover my 4 step meeting preparation checklist. This is the actual checklist that I have used for years to successful start my meetings. I will then move on to discuss the six good meeting etiquette things to do that will make your meeting a success.

By the end of this article, you will have a proven checklist that works for preparing for your meeting. This preparation will get your meetings off to a great start. You will also know how to conduct a meeting with excellent meeting etiquette. The end result will be excellent meetings that people will want to be a part of.

4 Step Meeting Preparation Checklist

Like most things in project management the more your prepare the easier it will be. Approach your project meetings the same way you approach your project. Make sure you take time to prepare. One of the best ways to prepare is to arrive early for your meeting. Arriving early will give you time to make sure the room is set up for the meeting. When I book a meeting room I book it to start 30 minutes before the meeting starts. The purpose of these 30 minutes is to prepare the meeting room. Also if you find the run is in use and overrunning it gives you time to ask them to wrap up.

When I arrive early for the meetings I am running I have an arrival checklist. This checklist has 4 steps.

Temperature – The first thing to check when you arrive at the meeting is the temperature of the room. If when you arrive the room is too cold or too hot you have time to cool or heat the room up before everyone arrives. Having a comfortable room will help the attendees focus on the meeting.

Seats – Are there enough seats in the room for all the attendees? If not go and find some more seats. You do not want those that arrive late to have to go and find seats and be even more late.

Equipment – Are you going to be using any technology in your meeting? If so make sure these work and if not get help or fix yourself. If you are using flip charts or whiteboards make sure that the pens work.

Remote Attendees – If you have people phoning in to the meeting give them a call to check the technology is working. It also gives you a chance to check the remote attendees have not forgotten about the meeting.

Taking the time to prepare for your meeting will help ensure your meeting starts on time. It will also make you look more professional with the meeting attendees. Also, it increases the chance of the meeting being a success.

Meeting Etiquette

As the chair, it is your responsibility for making sure there is good meeting etiquette. There are six things you can do to help promote good meeting etiquette.

Start on time

Not starting on time or waiting for late people is disrespectful to those that have turned on time. Then at your next meeting those that turned up early are likely to turn up late. Start on time and get a reputation that if people do not arrive on time you will start without them. Do not go back over what has already covered point as again this rewards those that are late. State that the agenda is already tight and there is no time to cover it again.

Do not bump people

If you have agreed for someone to do a guest session make sure they have the agreed time slot. Keeping them waiting or even worse telling them you do not have time is disrespectful.

One conversation

Make sure there is only one conversation going at a time. If there are separate conversations remind everyone to listen to one speaker.

Stick to the agenda

Make sure the meeting sticks to the times set out in the agenda. Once the time has expired to talk about a particular item tell everyone that time has run out. Ask the group if they wish to continue the conversation. If so then something else needs removing from the agenda. Or move the item to either the next meeting or arrange another one to cover this item. Make sure that you pick one and do not allow the conversation to continue.

Keep people on topic

If you find someone going off topic bring them back to the item on the agenda. Ask if it is something that requires a separate meeting.

Finish on time

No-one will thank you if the meeting you are chairing overruns. People will often have commitments after your meeting. By being late will have an impact on the rest of their day. If the meeting looks like it will run over state that you have run out of time. It is unlikely many people will protest.

Those are the six meeting etiquette things to do. If you do these then people will thank you for a well-run meeting. The knock on effect is people are likely to come to other meetings you run. Doing this will help build your reputation as a very good meeting organiser.

Summary

To conduct a good meeting is easy if you prepare and show good etiquette. To prepare for your meeting run through the 4 step meeting preparation checklist. Make sure you arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the meeting to run through your checklist. The first thing to check is the room temperature. Having this right will make the attendees feel comfortable.

The first thing to check is the room temperature. Having this right will make the attendees feel comfortable.

Second check there are enough seats. You do not want to be late starting your meeting because you have to wait for people to find chairs. The third step is to check all the equipment works from pens with ink in them through to a projector that turns on. Whatever it is that you think you will

The third step is to check all the equipment works from pens with ink in them through to a projector that turns on. Whatever it is that you think you will need, make sure it works before the meeting starts. The fourth step is to make sure the technology works for the remote attendees. This also acts as a good reminder for the remote attendees.

The fourth step is to make sure the technology works for the remote attendees. This also acts as a good reminder for the remote attendees.

With meeting etiquette, remember the 5 key points. Start on time and do not reward latecomers be going back over previous agenda items. Be respectful and do not bump or delay guest speakers. Make sure there is only one conversation going on at any given time. Stick to the agenda and make sure each item sticks to the allocated time slot.

Finally, keep people on topic and finish on time.

That is all there is to conduct a meeting that works and helps your project. Doing this will enhance your reputation as a good meeting organiser.

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