1. Plan structurally.
A productive meeting starts with structural planning. Set an agenda and a goal to define the focal points for discussion. Especially in case of online meetings you should also clearly communicate whose attendance is expected and who may join in as a passive participant.
2. Communicate requirements.
Inform participants about the topics and goals of the meeting and include a short reminder to ensure attendance, preparation and a certain sense of involvement. If applicable, it is also advisable to let them know in advance about necessary equipment and tools for the meeting.
3. Ensure commitment.
Participants bring different personalities to the room. Some tend to prefer to just listen while others show a tendencies towards striving to dominate a conversation. It is thus important to ensure everyone can speak up and all views are being considered.
4. Focus on follow-ups.
The tangible outcome of a meeting should always be some sort of summary or list of take-aways such as follow-ups and to-do’s. Make sure people know about, agree and commit to carrying out follow-up actions. Then evaluate the meeting with all its outputs to determine what has worked and what not. Be sure to include your take-aways in follow-up meetings.
5. Incorporate feedback.
As mentioned above, all participants must be included in the process and commit to their follow-up responsibilities. Positive effects in the overall performance of a team or company are often also indicative of effective meetings. To arrive there continuous improvement is required in terms of technical execution as well as successful completion of follow-ups. The credo must be: Stay on top of things.
Meetings are an established method for developing ideas and making decisions together, but when poorly organised they can kill morale and productivity. According to recent studies, 30 to 70 percent of our professional meetings today are unnecessary or even counterproductive.
Tucan.ai is a Germany-based deep-tech startup developing AI software aimed at improving our professional communication. We build productivity tools based on automatic speech recognition, transcription and summarisation to help B2B customers organise, carry out and post-process meetings and other structured conversations more efficiently and productively. Our vision is to outsource exhausting bureaucratic tasks to AI systems so that we can focus more on what is really important and exciting: being innovative and creative together.