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10 Tips to Make Meetings Effective

Time is money. We all know it. And yet the vast majority of larger organisations suffer from time waste.
You know when people sit in a meeting and don’t actually get to any conclusion? That is time from each of their days that they have lost. Eliminating this waste or even minimising it will save some companies millions.

As a bonus – not wasting your time waiting for meetings to start or being bored during them, will leave you a much happier person.

Meeting are necessary. Face to face communication is proven to be vastly more effective than any other form of communication. Now we just need to understand how to make those meetings productive.

Luckily – with just a few tips – you can do this. What you will notice is that people slowly start changing their behaviour.


  1. The convener of the meeting prepares for the meeting

  2. There is an agenda stating why the meeting is happening and what the expected outcome is

  3. If attendees need to bring something or prepare something they are told in advance

  4. All meetings start on time. The door is closed at this time.

  5. Latecomers are welcome, but must open the door. They are NOT caught up on what has been discussed.

  6. All meetings end on time. If the desired outcome has not been achieved then a discussion is held as to when to address this before the end of the meeting

  7. Plan meetings to end at 5 minute to the hour (e.g. 9:55am) to allow participants to get to their next meeting on time.

  8. Meetings are facilitated by the convener or a facilitator and kept on topic.

  9. Stop multitasking in meetings by checking your phone, tablet or laptop. Pay attention to the person talking, and take notes on paper. Taking notes on a laptop makes people think you are checking email, even if you aren’t.

  10. If the desired outcome is achieved before the end of the meeting – then it ends early.

The above tips allow people to have FOCUS. It demands RESPECT. It requires COMMITMENT and OPENNESS. Do these sound familiar? 🙂

Here is a simple template for effective meetings. Fill it out every time you want to call a meeting – it will help you make the most of the time you have. (And eventually that leads to less waste, more money and much more happiness!)

Expected Outcome
Who must be there
Start time

Don’t forget, as a convener you need to prepare for and do the following during the meeting:

  • Introduction & Explanation of meeting agenda
  • Discuss who or how notes will be taken.
  • Actions and Follow up plans
  • Close & Thanks

I really hope that some of these tips can save you some time and hopefully make you happier as well. Please leave comments and let us know how you are doing.

5 thoughts on “10 Tips to Make Meetings Effective”

  1. Pingback: Meetingism – Addiction to Meetings | Growing Agile

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