10 WAYS TO CONDUCT BETTER
Michael D. Taylor
Ten Ways to Conduct Better Meetings
By Michael D. Taylor
Surveys have indicated that a typical meeting attendee views them as being 2.3 times
a long as they should be. Since meetings are vital to a project’s success, the secret lies
in simply making them more efficient. Here are ten ways to conduct better meetings.
1. Inform and remind team of purpose just before meeting.
By informing attendees just before they are not only less likely to forget it but they will
also come with any material or information needed to support the discussion topics.
Often an attendee will be asked a question which requires them to leave the meeting
to get needed information. When this happens, they may get diverted and never
return to the meeting.
2. Minimize participants.
Invite only those who are truly needed. As the number of participants goes up so
does the tendency to get bogged down. Often, those who are not needed will show
up to obtain any information resulting from the meeting. They are referred to as
“secondary attendees,” and they often begin asking a lot of questions that divert the
meeting from its intended focus to one of bringing that person “up to speed.” If a
meeting summary is produced, then there is less likelihood of having secondary
3. Establish and follow an agenda.
As a rule, every meeting should have an agenda that has at least three points; the
topics, the time allocated for each topic, and the “talker,” the one who is taking the
lead for a given topic. It is a good practice to issue a proposed agenda before the
meeting to solicit inputs and to gain a better “buy-in.” It also identifies other topics that
may be pertinent to the meeting discussions.
Agree on purpose
Report & discuss
Identify any slips