Essentials of Equality & Diversity - E-Learning
The positive effects of cultural intelligence on your global business
March 25, 2024
TOLES Advanced
How will a TOLES certificate help my legal career?
May 13, 2024

Top tips for an effective business meeting

Sharia Audit

We have all sat through meetings which have felt like a complete waste of our time where little seems to be achieved due to disorganisation or fragmentation of topics.

However, meetings don’t need to be this way – you can say goodbye to boring meetings, forever!

Read on to find out our top tips for an effective business meeting…

What makes a successful meeting?

Humans have been holding meetings for thousands of years; from tribal gatherings discussing hunting grounds, to family get-togethers discussing marriage opportunities, it is likely that since we learnt to communicate, we have had meetings.

Many of these ancient meetings probably ended successfully with new connections made and people galvanized into action without the need for our modern technology or penchant for organization.

However, in order to make a modern meeting a success, when time is of the essence and everyone has some place else to be, there are a few elements which are essential.

These include:

1. A clear objective

2. Good preparation

3. Straightforward agenda

4. Right attendees

5. Effective time management and control

6. Operational decision making

7. Correct and concise documentation

Also worth mentioning here is the human element.

It is very easy, in these days of virtual meetings and high-pressure workloads, to overlook the fact that we are all human and have lives outside of work.

Take a couple of minutes at the end of meetings to connect with others in a meaningful way; ask about family, check colleagues are doing okay, or highlight a positive experience or event that others are happy to share.

Tips for an effective business meeting

The elements above which create successful meetings are looked at in depth here to give a clearer idea of how an effective meeting is facilitated.

1. A clear objective – A clearly defined purpose or objective ensures that everyone understands why the meeting is being held and what needs to be achieved. Prioritize points in order of importance. When possible, send out the agenda in advance to attendees so they are familiar with it and can prepare.

2. Good preparation – attendees should be adequately prepared for the meeting, having reviewed any relevant materials or information beforehand. This ensures that discussions can be productive and decisions can be made efficiently.

3. Straightforward agenda – a straightforward agenda which outlines the topics to be covered during the meeting will help keep the discussion focused and on track. It provides structure and direction, preventing the meeting from veering off course. Don’t forget to allow other time to add to the agenda if required.

4. The right attendees – this might sound obvious but having the right people in the meeting means everything can be discussed and actioned during the meeting without any delay. It is also important to remember to encourage active participation from all attendees as this promotes engagement and diverse perspectives.

5. Effective time management and control – respect for everyone’s time is crucial. Start and end the meeting on time, adhere to the agenda, and avoid unnecessary tangents or discussions to help ensure that the meeting is efficient and productive.

6. Operational decision making – clear decisions should be reached during the meeting, with actionable follow-up steps assigned to responsible parties. Avoiding indecision or deferring important choices helps maintain momentum and progress. It can help to reinforce decisions by taking effective notes during the meeting, then having a minute at the end where everyone repeats their next steps, with timescales.

7. Correct and concise documentation – recording meeting minutes or notes ensures that discussions, decisions, and action items are documented for future reference. This helps keep everyone accountable and ensures continuity between meetings.

Remember, once the meeting is over is over, it is important to follow-up on actions or decisions in order to keep momentum going and ensure deadlines and outcomes are achieved.

Meeting facilitator should check-in with attendees as necessary and keep others informed of updates.

It is also a good idea to keep meetings as short as possible (with anything over an hour it can be challenging to maintain focus).

Similarly, consider scheduling the time of the meeting to fit with highest productivity levels (many people tend to be more focussed in the morning as opposed to just after lunch).

If you’d like to discover more about effective meetings and how to facilitate these, book your place now on our Effective Meetings e-Learning course.