Keeping staff on the same page is crucially important, and that's why you need to hold a team meeting. But that's easier said than done since there's so much to do. You'll need to clearly define the agenda for the meeting, plan ahead, and prepare a compelling presentation that will amaze everyone on your team. Furthermore, you'll have to engage with team members before, during, and after the meeting, which inevitably eats into your time.
10 Ways To Get The Most From A Team Meeting
We've compiled this handy list of 10 ways to get the most of your upcoming team meeting by taking away some of the guesswork. It will help you stay focused on, what truly matters, and not waste time on tasks that will hinder your progress.
You may not have a clear idea of what topics to cover during a team meeting, and that's perfectly fine. Don't waste time worrying about this, and instead, do a bit of brainstorming to develop ideas. If you're not feeling inspired and struggling to come up with these, then discuss the matter with a few colleagues. Also, don't forget to ask creative, newer, and younger team members to contribute ideas, as they're bound to come up with something interesting.
Setting The Agenda
Now that you've jotted down several ideas, it's time to decide with which to move forward with and which to leave behind. Ideally, you want to focus on a central topic reinforced by accompanying ideas provided by fellow team members. But do weed out those ideas that won't serve any meaningful purpose to the discussion. Thus, you'll set the agenda for the upcoming meeting by focusing specifically on this core topic and its supporting ideas.
The success of your team meeting largely depends on planning, so don't skimp on this bit. Take the time to contact everyone that should be at the meeting, and get confirmation if they'll be there. Use a tool such as Schedule Once, which synchronizes with your Google Apps Calendar to save time and limit back-and-forth emails. Furthermore, ensure that everyone knows about the location, time, and agenda of the meeting.
As the meeting date draws closer, you should continue engaging with those that will be attending. But take things further by promoting an inclusive climate to make team members from diverse backgrounds feel comfortable. Let them know that you'll appreciate having them at the meeting and that you'll look forward to their input. Not only does this help make your team more collaborative, but it will also enhance the discussion and exchange of ideas during the meeting.
Preparing A PowerPoint Presentation
With only days to go before the meeting, you'll likely need to prepare a PowerPoint presentation. Don't leave it too late since preparing an effective presentation is usually a time-consuming endeavor.
Ensure that you've collected all relevant animations, data points, charts, infographics, and photos. But show only high-resolution content and use appropriate colors, fonts, and layouts for maximum impact. And, don't forget to practice your presentation beforehand by recording yourself to pick up any flaws in your delivery.
No matter the size of your company and the number of attendees, it's always important to keep a team meeting record. This type of record-keeping system is known as the minutes of the meeting. As attendees enter the room, ensure that they all sign the attendance sheet before the meeting commences.
You may use a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or writing pad to keep track of the meeting's starting time, duration, and ending time. Furthermore, you'll need to record all discussions surrounding the agenda and motions put forward, but leave out any rudimentary information.
Establishing Ground Rules
It's important to establish several ground rules that attendees will comprehend before the meeting begins. These rules should facilitate a smooth-running meeting and respectful behavior between all attendees. They'll need to switch off their smartphones to avoid being distracted, not cut in when someone else is speaking, and never steer the conversation away from the topic at hand. Also, no attendee should leave the meeting room unless it's something urgent such as an emergency.
Engaging During The Team Meeting
Keep engaging with fellow team members during the meeting, as this makes it a more exciting experience. After all, you don't want attendees getting bored and switching off when you need to share vital information with them. Therefore, you'll need to space out your presentation segments to allow time for feedback and questions. Spice up your presentation by inserting interesting allegories and the odd industry joke.
It's important to respect everyone's time, including your own. That's why you shouldn't allow the meeting to run longer than it should. And a good way to do this is by utilizing some form of time tracking. The most straightforward method is to use a meeting room clock or countdown timer in a position visible to all attendees. If these aren't available, use a popular countdown app that will run on your smartphone or tablet.
Concluding the Meeting
While you may take questions during your presentation, it makes sense to take additional questions before concluding. But also encourage fellow team members to share their concerns, ideas, and thoughts. Also, let them know if there will be any follow-up meetings, especially if you cannot express all your points. Thank everyone for attending, and promise to follow-up with them during the next couple of days before leaving the meeting room.
The Bottom Line
A team meeting helps you share important ideas and improve collaboration in the workplace. But it's essential to set the agenda beforehand to stay focused and keep clear communication channels with fellow team members days and weeks before the meeting. By following these simple steps, you can move ahead with your upcoming meeting with confidence.
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