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8 proven techniques to have shorter and better meetings


Some weeks ago I published a post on Linkedin asking my connections for their best tricks to have more effective meetingsThis is a summary of the techniques that are being used successfully in world-class companies and institutions:
  • Invites. State a clear purpose, specific agenda points and share the slides upfront (if available). Make sure you have invited only the right participants by stating the roles and responsibilities for each one in the invite.
  • Set up. Prepare the context to start on time: room, tooling, material, connectivity, etc.
  • Be on time. Start your meetings at :05 to allow people to arrive from other meetings and grab a coffee. 
  • No devices. Mobile phones are not allowed on the desk or attendees' hands. Laptops are not allowed in the room except for the presenters.
  • Stand-ups. Meetings that are about status and decision making shouldn't be long. Chair-less rooms are ideal for this. Meetings about collaborative content review or training are longer by nature, and more suitable for desks and chairs.
  • Decisions. Open the meeting with the decision(s) that have to be made before the meeting ends.
  • Strict time keeping. In many cases, a 15-minute meeting is enough. Using meeting rooms that are booked when our meeting ends is a good way to make sure they don't last longer. Set the agenda with a strict time slot for each point and restrict each speaker's time to the allotted time.
  • ROI. Ask the participants to rate their Return of Investment (1-5) on a whiteboard at the end of the meeting. If the ROI is low, figure out why and what needs to be changed.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion! Do you have other tricks? Please share them as comments to this post.

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