Meetings and conferences are essential activities in any organization where in important things are discussed and decisions are taken. Typically, meetings are recorded and transcribed to have a clear idea regarding what exactly happened during the meeting. Meeting transcripts prepared by general transcription services contain each and every point discussed in the meeting and are important reference material. These transcripts can also be distributed among those who were not able to attend the meeting.
According to Joseph Allen, an associate professor in industrial and organizational psychology at the University of Nebraska Omaha, meetings can be boring but there are solid ways in which you can improve meetings. The most obvious things are you must be organized, start the meeting on time, come prepared, and actively participate. Meetings must act as a venue for creative thinking and sharing of innovative ideas. But this doesn’t always happen. Poorly organized meetings can have a negative effect on employee morale and overall teamwork. To be effective, relevant topics should be discussed in the meeting and participation of all attendees should be ensured. Ideally, meetings should be short and productive; meeting organizers must ensure that the meeting is wound up at the stop time decided on.
Here are some tips you can follow to run a meeting perfectly.
What to Do Before the Meeting
- There should be a specific objective for the meeting. It should include problem solving, decision making or substantive discussion. In many cases, attendees do not understand the meeting objective until the last moment. It is the responsibility of the organizer to clearly inform the participants about the meeting objectives ahead of the meeting.
- Have an agenda and circulate it among the attendees so that they can formulate their thoughts and make the meeting more productive and efficient. The participants may suggest minor or even major changes to the agenda, which will make the meeting more effective and ensure its smooth conduct.
- Invite the right people. Do not invite too many people to the meeting and make it crowded. This can make your meetings confusing and inefficient.
- Make your meetings or conferences as a gathering of all employees, rather than a formal or stiff meeting.
- Consider the obstacles that could arise. Carefully think of the situations that need to be attended to and those that can be conceded. When you are mentally prepared for unforeseen situations, you can more effectively handle them.
- There is no rule that meetings should be conducted in conference rooms; instead, it can be conducted in any of your favourite places – it can be a resort, a coffee shop or even a car if it involves only a few people.
- Ensure that all participants get a chance to express their views and do not let anyone dominate the meeting. You should know how to move on if there is a contentious issue or something on which a consensus can be reached.
- Be informal as it helps employees relax and encourages them to come up with new ideas that are productive. Make jokes and be relaxed.
- Thank all the people who attended the meeting and summarize what was discussed during the meeting. Make sure to take down minutes and transcribe them.
- Follow up with the goals of the meeting. At the planning stage itself, you must also consider the actions that will take place after the meeting. To make a meeting successful follow-up and follow-through are both essential. By allocating time for various activities after the meeting, you can ensure enough time to dedicate to important efforts.
Meeting organizers must ensure that meetings are called only when they are absolutely needed. If you only need to share some information or review project status, consider email or other written communications. Develop a company culture wherein meetings are valued and respected. A digital transcription service provider offering meeting transcription understands that each business may have a unique approach as regards the way they conduct meetings. Meetings can be well conducted if the organizers have a clear insight regarding the desired meeting goals and outcome. By following the above-listed best practices and proper preparation, business meetings can be rewarding and a pleasurable experience for the participants.