Well, the boss assigned organising this month’s staff meeting to you, leaving you feeling more than anxious. You could reserve space at the local pub, but your boss is into presentations and detailed agendas. Not much of a stickler yourself, you find even with your best effort the meeting will fall short of your colleagues’ expectations, and worse yet, your boss’s.
For many Australian professionals, however, organising a meeting that runs smoothly, engages its attendees and impresses the boss is not impossible. As with everything in business, executing an effective meeting involves much planning. Whether organising a lunch meeting or a basic afternoon gathering, you can actually hold meetings that are fun, engaging, and more significantly, effective.
Keep reading below to learn more about the many ways you can organise a stress-free meeting and ensure your attendees have a great experience.
Allow for Enough Space
When organising your next meeting, make sure the space is appropriate for the type of meeting you are having. If the meeting is a simple one, a smart station might not be appropriate. However, if your meeting will involve guests from outside the company, then make sure there is enough seating, and yes, include technology that will make it easier for everyone to see and hear.
Fortunately, reserving space is no longer a problem because advances in office leasing have made it possible for you to hold your meetings in a variety of spaces. Please click on Servcorp’s Australia site at http://www.servcorp.com.au/en/meeting-rooms/ to see some of the meeting rooms you might reserve. Typical rooms are state-of-the-art spaces that can be converted for a number of uses.
Remain on Task
Draft a list of agenda items to avoid meetings that turn into tangential conversations, and more specifically, become less effective. Moreover, your agenda does not have to be an extensive outline of your topics. Instead, draft a simple agenda that covers the most relevant material.
In fact, a good way to prepare is to send around a draft of the agenda to meeting attendees and ask them to add to the list. Review the list, considering most pertinent contributions, and then plan your agenda around it. The agenda is extremely important in keeping your meeting on task, so when choosing items for the list, they should relate to some overall meeting objective.
Make It Engaging
Find icebreakers to get to know and loosen up your attendees. If the gathering is small, do a complicated activity, and vice versa, with a larger gathering, keep it simple. The point is to spend a few minutes before actually getting into the meeting to loosen up your audience. This also can be a remedy for stragglers who might walk into the meeting late, as they will not miss anything important.
Keep the Reins on Time
The worst meeting destroyers are tangential conversations, side conversations, and just plain old interruptions. All of these disruptions can add quite a bit of time to your standard meeting. To avoid unnecessarily lengthening the time of your meeting, consider tabling any questions until the end.
Don’t Forget Questions and Answers
Save a few minutes at the end of the meeting for questions and answers. Again, loosen up the meeting by allowing those with no questions to leave while those with concerns can stay and chew the caw. For one, your attendees will appreciate your consideration of their time, and two, your attendees have a choice in listening in on this session.
Turn Stressful Meetings into Effective Ones
Effective meetings translate into less stress for you. The meeting space, whether relaxed or more formal, can set the tone for the event, and your agenda is the tempo of the discussion. More significantly, engaging conversation, approachable manner, and out-of-this-world organisation will convey to your attendees your superior professionalism.