10 Important Tips for Planning Effective Meetings

dv2171020Recently, I read an interesting infographic by Eva Rykrsmith on how to conduct meetings effectively and the importance of having ground rules for them. There were a number of excellent tips and facts presented in her infographic, but below are 10 that will certainly go a long way in helping you conduct meetings more effectively:


  1. Come prepared—if you aren’t prepared, it will be apparent to all, and your meeting will certainly be viewed negatively.
  2. Email an agenda 24 hours in advance—give participants a chance to review, collect, or gather relevant information. If participants are prepared, the chances are certainly greater for a smooth-running meeting.
  3. Arrive at least 5-10 minutes early—check to make sure the room is configured in a way that is favorable to your meeting—think about seating, distributing handouts, checking equipment (if needed), etc.
  4. Ban smartphones! I know, I know, everyone feels the need to be “wired.” However, there’s a time and place for everything, and the time and place that has been set aside for this particular meeting should be a top priority during this meeting.
  5. Share all relevant data—if you want positive next steps, then participants need to have the necessary information and knowledge in order to move forward.
  6. Challenge ideas rather than people—you should make it crystal clear that the meeting is about generating ideas or making decisions and not personal attacks.
  7. Make sure everyone participates—conversely, don’t let a few people dominate the discussion.
  8. Stay on topic—if you have developed a purpose and a goal for the meeting, you will find it easier for you and others to avoid the temptation of “wandering off” topic.
  9. Start and end on time—nothing is more frustrating than to be in a meeting that “runs over.” Have timelines firmly established for the various topics; and if an agenda item warrants more discussion, determine if it needs priority over other items on the agenda.
  10. Follow-up by email within 24 hours—a quick follow-up will give you as well as the others the sense that the meeting itself and the outcomes are important and worthy of continued attention on some level.

Click on this link to view Eva Rykrsmith’s infographic.

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