Meetings are an important part of any organization, yet they can be frustrating, unproductive, and cause attendees to become disengaged if not planned properly. Arguably, meeting planning is the most important stage of any company meeting cycle, if this is done poorly, the meeting itself and overall culture will suffer. We have put together a meeting preparation checklist to help you plan your meetings effectively.:
Benefits of effective meeting culture
Good meeting culture ensures that everyone is on the same page, communication is clear, and decisions are made efficiently. Unfortunately, not all teams have good meeting culture. In fact, many teams struggle with ineffective meetings that waste time, energy, and even money.
Poor meeting culture will lead to misalignment, miscommunication, frustration, and even conflict among team members. This will lead to difficulties in making decisions, achieving goals, and completing everyday tasks.
Effective meeting starts with an agenda
Whether you are running virtual meetings on Zoom, in-person, or over the phone, there are important aspects that need to be considered in order to plan a meeting successfully, these include:
Purpose – What is the purpose of the meeting? What needs to be accomplished?
Attendees – Who needs to be in attendance?
Virtual, or physical - What is the best format?
Location – Where will the meeting take place?
Agenda – What topics need to be discussed?
Timing – How long will the meeting last and when will it take place?
Format – What is the best format for this meeting?
By taking the time to ensure you cover all of these aspects and fostering them as an ongoing process, you can optimize your meeting for success. Let's take a look in a bit more in-depth at these stages.
How long a meeting should last?
The next step on this meeting preparation checklist is to determine how long your meeting should be. This will depend on the purpose of the meeting, the number of attendees, and the type of meeting you are having. There are some essential metrics, based on external data that should be considered here:
Length of Meeting
% of People Paying Attention
Some factors to consider when deciding on the length of your meeting include:
The purpose of the meeting – The amount of time needed for the meeting will depend on the purpose. For example, a brainstorming session will require more time than a status update.
The number of attendees – The number of attendees will also affect the amount of time needed for the meeting. A larger group will require more time to ensure that everyone has a chance to contribute.
The type of meeting – The type of meeting will also play a role in the amount of time needed. A training session, for example, will require more time than a brief update.
By taking all of these factors into consideration, you can determine how long your meeting should be. This will help to ensure that the meeting is productive and efficient. You should also consider planning your meeting in increments of 15 minutes, and if a meeting extends past an hour, consider a 15-minute break to refresh and re-engage attendees.
Still unsure how to plan meetings effectively?
Best practice guide: Meeting best practice guide
In-depth guide: Meeting culture toolbox
In-depth guide: How to plan meetings effectively