5 Tricks To Make Your Meeting Minutes Count
When you work in an office, meetings can take up a lot of your time. In fact, the average worker spends around one third of their office hours in meetings – and the more you progress, the more time is devoted to discussions around planning, strategy, and reporting.
Meetings are an essential part of business, both in terms of keeping the lines of communication open and creating a forum for new ideas and feedback. Still, there’s a good chance your catch-ups could be more efficient and effective.
Check out these five tricks to saving time and making your meeting minutes count:
Set an agenda (and stick to it)
One of the main areas where meetings fall down is they don’t have clear objectives. Forbes suggests putting twice as much time into pre-planning meetings than you normally would.
While this may seem counter-intuitive, we’re not talking about pre-planning your daily team meeting – it’s more about having clear goals and action points for longer get-togethers, so nothing gets overlooked or overcooked.
Embrace the quick fix
Do away with the hour-long meeting wherever possible, opting instead for 15-minute intervals. If you allocate an hour for a meeting, you’re inclined to stretch your discussion to fill out the time, even if it’s not necessary.
Whittle your 60-minute chats down to 45 or maybe even 30 minutes. Starting your session at 2.15pm instead of 2pm also eliminates the risk of people running late from back-to-back meetings, meaning you can get straight down to business. Succinct brings success!
Make like a multi-tasker
When you think ‘staff meeting’, you probably imagine closed doors and conference tables (unless you’re lucky enough to work at a new-age company that writes its own rules).
If you’re the one in charge of setting meetings, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. We’ve seen teams take their meetings to the treadmills or unfurl the picnic blanket at lunch.
Taking the odd meeting out of the usual office space brings the freedom to let your guard down a little, which can mean honest conversations and new ideas flow freely.
Nominate a meeting marshal
Throwing back to the idea of setting a meeting agenda, having a good plan of attack is essential to effective meetings, but that alone won’t help you save time.
When time is of the essence but you have plenty of points to go through, nominate someone to keep the meeting to schedule. This can be especially beneficial in a larger group with many competing voices vying to be heard.
This designated meeting marshal has the authority to stop a conversation when it’s getting off-track, hand the discussion over to another team member, or move on to the next topic on the agenda.
Technology is there – use it!
Even in a global society, it’s still difficult to conduct business solely via email. There’s really no replacement for a solid face-to-face conversation, but the video meeting tools available today come pretty close!
When you’re conducting business across multiple office or timezones, dedicating regular time to catch up using a tool like Skype or Zoom will save you hours of back-and-forth emailing during the week.