Thoughts on Meetings

When I give a lecture, I accept that people look at their watches, but what I do not tolerate is when they look at it and raise it to their ear to find out if it stopped. — Marcel Achard

Just for Fun

Are Meetings Dead? A Spoof.


How Much Time Are Your Wasting?: Meeting Calculator

alt : See the Calculator

Virtual & Remote Meetings

9 Tips for Effective Online Meetings

9 tips for Effective Online Meetings from Productivity 501

1. Stay focused

2. Get the technology right

3. Follow up with an email summary

4. Argue politely

5. Come prepared

6. Look into the camera

7. Clean, distraction-free background

8. Use a good camera

9. Pay attention to sound


Offsite Bloopers

Offsite Bloopers.  An interesting Inc. Magazine article on what can go wrong at a company retreat.


How to Plan a Company Retreat

How to Plan a Company Retreat.  An article by Inc. Magazine we contributed to.


More General Tips

1. Decide why you want to have a meeting. What is the purpose of the meeting? What are you trying to accomplish, address, or resolve?

2. If you determine that a meeting is necessary, develop and share an agenda with those who will be attending the meeting at least one week in advance.

3. The person who runs the meeting (facilitator) should adhere to the items on the agenda.

4. The facilitator should also make sure that the time allotted for each agenda item is honored. Two suggestions to accomplish this include:

a. Establishing a rule, in advance, that people can not repeat what another individual has already said.

b. Soliciting input from each participant first prior to allowing an individual who has already spoken to speak again.

5. Once the meeting has ended, distribute the minutes in a timely manner, generally within a week following the meeting.
Read the whole article: Top five tips for running productive & effective meetings February 24, 5:11 PMTucson Nonprofit Business Examiner by Sharon Mikrut

Large Meeting (50+)

Using the Mobile Phone for Large Meetings

One potentially powerful interactive tool for meetings is the the mobile phone. With phones like the iPhone and Blackberry, among others, the meeting attendee can either use Twitter or Texting to communicate to the facilitator, a presenter or even each other. The phone can be used to take “straw polls” or sending “tweet” questions to the speakers, and other innovations.

1) Designate specific periods when the attendees may use the phone.

2) Request that the attendees only Tweet/Text the presenter/facilitator, (The rest can take place on scheduled breaks of at least 15-30 minutes or or special activities.)

3) To not distract the presenter/facilitator have someone else intercept the messages, sort or summarize, and provide them to the facilitator,

4) Ask a specific question of the attendees to Tweet/Text. The questions may include a “Meta” question such as “Would you like me to talk about the XYZ Process in more depth?” or a question pertaining to the subject matter, “What is your one biggest challenge as Sales Managers?” These can also be asked of a smaller group to discuss and send ONE response, such as those sitting at the same table or near each other.

5) If the present/facilitator asks to have participant Tweet/Text their questions, ask each table group (or cluster sitting near each other) to discuss and generate one questions from that group. This will ensure higher quality questions.

Controlling the Meeting

Using the Parking Lot

In meetings, keeping a list we call the “parking lot” is a fairly standard practice. As the discussion unfolds, we “park” there any items that arise that aren’t on the agenda, but which we believe could be important someday soon. Here are some tips for making your parking lot process more effective. 


Found Similar Blog

Check this out:


7 Habits of Highly Effective Meetings

1.  Meetings are to be limited to thirty minutes for a strategic meeting and eighteen minutes (like TED) for introductory or non-strategic meetings.  There would be a massive countdown clock in every conference room.

2.  Power points will be limited to “must-have” illustrations (graphs, visualizations, diagrams, etc.) The meeting can never start off with a power point – instead, it must start with the WHY? WHAT? HOW?, leading to discussion/presentation of facts/collaboration.

3.  Meetings always end with two minutes of promise-record keeping.  Action items are fully assigned, with delivery dates to be documented and placed into our calendars.

4.  Meetings deemed “a waste of time” by the most senior person in the room will have a budget cost to the person who called the meeting.

5. NO ONE is to bring a laptop, black berry or cell phone into the meeting UNLESS there is a specific timing issue that requires them to be “online” during the meeting.  

6. Meetings must have a moderator, who’s job is to manage agenda, time and documentation.  The moderator must also attempt to manage cross talk, but senior members in the room are expected to help in this regard too.

7. Director level and up attendees can (quietly) leave any meeting in violation of the above rules.

From Tim Sanders Advice Blog on Business, Culture and Spirit

For more