How to Make Meetings Productive


It’s inevitable. All employees have to attend meetings or even virtual training programs from time to time. Whereas training programs are ultimately desired, meetings tend to be dreaded. Why? They can be long, boring and unproductive. But with a few simple tips, you can make your meetings more effective and productive.

When you’re meeting face-to-face or having a virtual call, here are eight ways to get the most out of your next meeting.

 1.  Start the meeting with a recap of what has been done and what needs to be done

Don’t begin a meeting with an empty agenda. Start off by reviewing what has been done and deciding on the next steps that can help make everyone’s day more productive.

The first thing you should do when kicking things off is to give a recap: list out all that was done and then move one to the things that need finishing or preparing for in order, from top priority tasks to tasks that are not that urgent.

2. Make sure the meeting has a specific goal

Measuring the effectiveness of a meeting can be difficult and time-consuming, but a good way to ensure that your meetings are productive is by setting clear goals with an agenda beforehand, so there will definitely be tangible outcomes or action items at the end.

3. Encourage participation from all attendees

Make it a point to encourage participation from all attendees, not just those who have something specific to say. Everyone has opinions and insights they can contribute.

The more participants in a meeting discussion, the better chance that their voice will be heard. The more voices are heard the faster it is to identify areas that need to be improved or pinpoint areas where additional research needs to be done. It will allow you to understand gaps within the business so nobody is left blindsided later on.

Encourage everyone to speak up, even if they don’t seem like the “talkers” in your group. You never know how much information someone may have that could help answer a question or two.

4. Make sure there’s a host facilitating the discussion

You can make your meeting more productive by having a host facilitating the discussion, this is especially helpful when having a virtual meeting as well. A good host ensures that there’s enough time for everyone to speak and contribute, including those who might be less outgoing than others in the group.

A successful session will have clear decisions written down before or during its planning process (agenda) so each person knows what his/her role within these discussions should include. There should also be someone taking notes when needed as well as recording actions items & timelines.

5. Allow people to give input or make comments without interruption

Allow participants to talk freely during meetings. When you allow people the opportunity to speak or make comments, it helps improve productivity in meetings.

Make sure that they won’t be interrupted by others, and they can voice what’s on their mind without fear of judgment. Provide an open line of communication throughout a meeting as this will lead to them being more comfortable and more likely to clearly voice out their thoughts.

6. End the meeting with a clear action item for each participant

The only way to make sure your meeting is a success is by giving each person in the room something they need to do upon leaving. Make sure that everyone is clear about what they should do and should report on in your next meeting.

7. Keep meetings within schedule

Weekly meetings should only be 30 minutes to an hour-long. Any longer than that and it would be draining and a waste of company time.

To keep meetings on schedule and productive, establish a time limit for each meeting. You can end early if needed but some people like to talk longer than what’s scheduled, so to prevent this from happening, set a time limit in advance.

8. Keep meetings productive and fun

Keep meetings productive, fun, and within schedule. With the pandemic, the volume of meetings has shot up. Some of us are eager to talk and catch up with our colleagues which can make meetings drag on.

To make sure your meeting is productive and not just an hour wasted, prepare your agenda beforehand and follow the tips listed above.