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Effective Meeting Tips

Effective Meeting Tips

Detailed outline of how to better structure your meeting agendas and post meeting evaluations/reflections

Before the Meeting:

  • Create an objective for the meeting.
  • Create an outlined agenda.
  • Create copies and distribute the agenda to the group along with all other documents pertinent to the meeting objectives.
  • Choose a meeting time that works best with the majority of your members schedules. Set a time limit as well and stick to it if possible. Members are more likely to continue coming to meetings regularly if they are kept short and productive.
  • Try and create an effective seating arrangement. For small groups create a circle so that it’s more intimate and everyone is facing one another. With large groups classroom style or U shaped arrangements work best.
  • Choose a location that works best with the size of your organization.
  • Keep interest. This can involve visual aids, presentations, speakers, and or discussion topics.
  • Keep everyone informed of when and where meetings will be held. It may be best to have meetings at different locations to accommodate for larger crowds coming from different areas.

During the Meeting:

  • Welcome individuals to create an open comfortable atmosphere.
  • Try and plan ice breakers to help members become comfortable with one another.
  • If you are able try and offer light refreshments as well.
  • Start on time. End on time.
  • Review the agenda and set priorities for the meeting.
  • Stick to the agenda.
  • Encourage your members to offer point of views and spark discussion within the group. You will have more motivated members and will create better decision having greater input/feedback. Organization commitments improve when members take part in the decision making process.
  • Have someone taking meeting minutes to refer back to old business and stay on track.
  • Be a strong leader. Meetings are a wonderful opportunity to practice your skills as a leader. Be honest, compassionate, direct, progressive, and admit mistakes when need be.
  • Unify your members by reaching out on a positive note. For example, offer reflections and constructive criticism.
  • Set a date, time and place for future meetings.

Meeting Evaluation Checklist:

  • Was there a well outlined agenda?
  • Were members notified about the meeting in advance?
  • Did Officers have reports ready?
  • Did the meeting start on time?
  • Were guests welcomed?
  • Were agendas available for all members/guests?
  • Was there a purpose/objective for the meeting?
  • Did we stay on topic?
  • Was there a transition made from the last meeting?
  • Were we focused on one topic at a time?
  • Did we allow open relevant discussion?
  • Did we operate at workable pace?
  • Did we make all appropriate announcements?
  • Did we cover all topics of interest?
  • Were committees assigned?
  • Was our future agenda discussed?
  • Did we set an appropriate meeting time and place for the next meeting?

Participation in the Meeting:

  • All members participated in voting.
  • All members participated in open discussion.
  • Questions were raised during conversation.
  • Suggestions were raised during conversation.
  • Responsibilities were evenly distributed.
  • Full member participation took place.

The Value of the Meeting:

  • Met our objective/goals.
  • Made progress toward future events/activities.
  • Learned.
  • Felt challenged

Attitude of the Meeting:

  • Was attendance high?
  • Was everyone present and accounted for?
  • Did members positively react with one another?
  • Was there a warm up period?
  • Did members help one another meet common goal?
  • Was there open free expression?
  • Was there good humor?
*Adapted from the University of Michigan’s Office of Student Activities and Leadership