While a meeting has become essential for remote communication success, many still don’t know how to prepare for it. No wonder meaningless and unproductive meetings are common.
That shouldn’t be the case, though.
As a manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure engaging and productive meetings.
Here are the 5 things you can do to ensure so:
1. Invite only the right people
The quality of your meeting is indirectly proportional to the number of people attending it.
So, more people=unproductive meeting
Fewer people=productive meeting
Invite only those employees whose presence is a must (maybe they will help you in decision-making/with helpful suggestions or are executives whose presence is necessary). Share the meeting recording with the rest.
2. Set the meeting agenda
Most people hate meetings because no one knows what it’s about and what to discuss every time they attend one. This wastes time, breaks the workflow, and creates chaos.
The antidote to this is creating a meeting agenda.
It should have the following details:
a) Meeting time (ensure you fix a time when each participant is available across different time zones).
b) Who will participate?
c) What is the meeting about, and its goal?
d) What are the main topics you’ll discuss?
e) Assign talking points to each participant. Tell them to research a topic (with data, facts, and solutions to problems) and discuss them in the meeting.
Distribute this information to the participants. This way, everyone will have a proper context, be aware of the meeting’s importance, and come prepared.
3. Communicate the meeting etiquette
Before your meeting, establish ground rules to let everyone know how they should behave in the meeting. This will ensure the call runs smoothly, is distraction-free, and is engaging throughout.
Some meeting etiquette you should convey is:
a) Choose a distraction-free, noiseless, and well-lit place to attend the meeting.
b) Introduce yourself before speaking.
c) Mute yourself when others talk.
d) Don’t interrupt when others are talking. If you want to ask questions, wait until the person finishes their talk.
e) Test your audio, video, and internet connection 10 minutes before the meeting.
4. Assign a meeting facilitator
A meeting facilitator is a person who moderates the meeting and ensures it functions well. Most times, you’ll be a facilitator, but if you aren’t, you should appoint one.
The main tasks of the facilitator are:
a) To clarify doubts pre-meeting.
b) Break the awkward silence and get the meeting started.
c) Ensure everyone gets a chance to speak and ask questions.
d) There’s no chaos during the meeting.
e) Everyone is allotted responsibilities.
f) Ensure the participants do their work post-meeting.
5. Ask your participants
As a manager, you already have a lot on your plate—so you might miss something (discussion topics, talking points, and more). Seek your colleagues’ help.
Before the meeting, ask them about any topics they’d like to discuss (add it to the agenda), people they’d like to invite (send the participation invite), or anything in general. Ensure you act on their (valid) suggestions.
You should also clarify their doubts and remind them to come prepared for the meeting.