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The purpose of a business meeting is for a group to come together to fit the maximum amount of productivity into a short period of time. A meeting should be an opportunity to present ideas, communicate effectively, and solve problems together. Unfortunately, meetings don’t always run smoothly or end with the best results.

What are some ways to make business meetings more efficient? We’re sharing 5 tips to answer that question, below.

 

1. Know the Purpose for the Meeting

First and foremost, be sure that this meeting is necessary. Before reaching out to participants, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there an area that needs to be addressed?
  • Does this require a face-to-face conversation, or can it be addressed in an email?
  • Would a meeting be a valuable use of time?

If you decide to call a meeting, have a specific purpose. Know the purpose for bringing the group together and communicate that to each of the participants beforehand. By clearly defining a problem to solve, you can give each member of the team time to think about potential solutions, prepare materials, and come to the meeting prepared with constructive input.

 

2. Create an Agenda

Research shows that CEOS spend as much as 72% of their time in 37 meetings each week. With that time commitment, the purpose of an agenda is clear. It will guide the conversation, keep the group on task, and ensure that time is being spent in the most productive way possible.

After creating an agenda, be sure that every meeting participant is on the same page. Consider emailing the agenda ahead of time to allow for changes that may need to be made. Hand out a hard copy at the beginning of the meeting or display it on a screen to make the business meeting more efficient.

 

3. Be Engaging

The purpose of a meeting is for a group to collaborate. Your meeting participants aren’t coming to hear a lecture, but to participate in a discussion and solve a problem. By actively engaging each participant, you’ll receive valuable information and insight from the group as well as showing each person in the room that you respect their time and opinions.

One way to make business meetings more efficient is to invite only those individuals who need to be in attendance. Keeping the group small and focusing on the people who are integral to creating a solution to the problem you’re focusing on will help to keep the meeting on track and avoid answering questions about the basics that meeting participants should already be familiar with.

 

4. Keep the Conversation Solution-Focused

Brainstorming sessions can be useful, but that shouldn’t be the focus of a business meeting. To be productive and effective, the conversation should focus on funding solutions to the problem the meeting is focused on and developing action steps to take when the meeting is over.

As you work toward finding solutions, develop an action-based plan for reaching the intended results. Consider the following when making your plan.

  • Actionable steps that will lead to a solution for the problem being discussed
  • Assign specific tasks to individuals
  • Set deadlines and milestones to create a timeline
  • Determine how tasks will be evaluated throughout the timeline.

 

5. Follow Up After the Meeting

Throughout the meeting, the group will come up with action steps required to resolve a problem or work through the steps of a project. Following up after the meeting is an opportunity to remind each participant of their role in this process, establish deadlines for tasks, and give an overview of the results discussed during the meeting.

Looking for more tips about being productive during your meeting? Use these tips. With a strong team, effective meetings, and the help of Strategic Capital, you can reach your business goals faster.

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Jess Barnes | Jess has a passion for helping small business owners build their brands and connect with their customers. She writes about money, tech, and marketing for blogs and businesses.