If a meeting goes longer than 90 minutes, I have tuned out. In fact, after 60 minutes, I start to think about other things I have to do unless I am totally engaged in the conversation.
I have sat on many boards over the years, and the organizations that are the most productive are those that conduct productive meetings. Every meeting needs an agenda and a strategy.
I have attended thousands of meetings in my lifetime. As a communications coach, I have taken note of the disconnects when it comes to conducting a meeting. I have identified five keys to creating an effective meeting agenda.
- Identify A Specific Topic: Be very clear about the focus of the meeting. Know exactly what the topic is and every issue you want to address regarding that topic. Be careful not to overload the meeting with too many agenda items. Be specific and narrow it down to important issues. If there ends up being too much on the agenda, schedule another meeting at another time.
- Identify a Clear Goal: Be clear on what you want to accomplish in the meeting. Write own the questions that you need answers to ahead of time. Have a goal of what your take aways will be when the meeting concludes.
- Mind the Clock: Every meeting should have specific beginning and end time. Research shows that people start to disconnect after 60 minutes and beyond 90, they are not engaged. Also give a specific time for each topic listed on the agenda. For example: 10 minutes to talk about this issue.
- Recap the Discussion: As you get to the end of the meeting, recap what was discussed and decided on. This is also a coach approach to communications. Clients will recap a coaching session as we near the end of it to be clear on what was discussed.
- Outline Next Steps: Be clear what are the next steps following the meeting. Who will be doing what? This needs to be outlined and understood by everyone in the meeting. This is your take aways from the meeting and will be included in the follow up meetings.
Vanessa Denha Garmo is the founder of Epiphany Communications & Coaching where she serves as a communications strategist, content creator and coach. She is a certified life and leadership coach as well as a certified Strengths Coach and a facilitator with the Achieving