Posted to Volacci's blog on January 13th, 2012

5 Ways to Make Your Meetings More Efficient


make meetings shorter
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iMeet's Steve Miller presents his latest installment on the Volacci blog. iMeet is your own personal meeting room online. It’s a wide-open space, where you can get together to talk, meet in video, share documents and socially connect with people.

So here we are in the second week of January. Remember those New Year’s resolutions you made so long ago? Those old dusty proclamations about ‘wasting less time’ and ‘being more productive’ this year? Well, it’s high time you got back on track with those resolutions. Let’s start by knocking 15 minutes off your next meeting so you can have more time to send videos to your coworkers finish that important presentation you’ve been putting off.

Schedule 45-minute meetings
Instead of an hour-long meeting, try 45. Set the expectation of the 45-minute meeting when scheduling it, but subtly set aside an hour in case the meeting runs over. This miraculously makes your hour-long meetings that run late now 45-minute meetings that run late.

Identify and stick to the objective
A meeting without an objective is always a waste of time. Fashioning your agenda around one or two specific goals is sure to shave some time off any meeting. The expectations will be set, the dialogue guided - all because you thought to assign an objective to a possibly aimless meeting.

Set expectations early
By telling the meeting’s participants what to expect during a meeting, you’re adding a much-needed structure to the meeting, as well as setting parameters for the meeting’s subject matter. This doesn’t mean it won’t change every now and then, but most of the time, it will knock some time off your meetings by eliminating off-topic banter.

Stifle the meeting dominator
Many meetings have a person who dominates the conversation, often because of a strong personality or natural openness. These individuals are quite frequently the reason meetings run late. If you are facilitating the meeting, keep the conversation balanced. If you notice one person dominating the conversation, ask someone else to weigh in. Make sure everyone that needs to be heard is heard, then move on.

Summarize the talking points at the end of the meeting
By summarizing the meeting at the end, you’re quickly covering any potential areas of confusion before a long-winded recap breaks out. This somewhat obvious task will certainly shave some minutes off your meeting.

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