5 Ways to Run a Better Meeting

With Term 4 now in full swing we only have a few more meetings to finish out the year. Now is a good time to have a refresher to keep going strong and have effective meetings. So here they are, 5 ways to run a better meeting.

1. Have a Clear Agenda

A well planned meeting is a well-run meeting. Make sure the Agenda is sent out with plenty of time for attendees to be across all that is going to happen. You want people’s input so make sure they have everything the need to contribute before the meeting. For example, if you want to pass a motion to purchase something, make sure all attachments, like quotes are sent out.

2. Stay Focused

You have an agenda. Stick to it. Have an idea of the time each agenda item should take and gently keep the meeting moving and on track. To ensure people do feel include, make sure you have given opportunity for attendees to add items to the agenda well before the meeting.

3. Make Sure Every Gets Their Say

Everyone wants to be heard. The chair of the meeting to ensure they balance personalities. Often it just involves checking in with the introverts. Make sure you hear feedback. Do your meetings go too long or even too short? Do people feel they are able to make a contribution? If you have someone who interrupts lots give them a stopwatch to keep everyone on track Smile.

4. Take Action and Follow up

The best meetings are where decisions are made. To be able to do that action items need to be done between of the meeting. Make sure any actions are clearly assigned with due date and are followed up at the next meeting.

5. Practice Makes Perfect

We get some great experience while volunteering in a P&C. Over time you will get better at all of the above. Be patient with yourself and others. Remember the greater purpose of why you are running the meetings. It is a tough but very important service you are providing. Hang in there!

Do you have any other tips? Please share them in the comments below!

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8 thoughts on “5 Ways to Run a Better Meeting

  1. A quick meeting is a good meeting. Stick to one hour. Anything over that should be deferred unless it is extremely urgent. Remember … everyone has lives and are there volunteering. Their time is precious too.

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    • We couldn’t possibly do it all properly in an hour given all the different things we do as a P&C. I do agree though on not wasting peoples’ valuable time and taking every effort to be efficient. Nice list Matthew – I would add some pearl of wisdom about the role of facilitating a meeting but I just can’t summarise it succinctly enough.

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  2. Hi Matthew – our meetings used to go for 2 hours or more – and although I understand that it should/could be a forum for everyone to have their ‘say’ – I stopped it and we now have one hour to 1 and half hours meetings (and we’ve taken a lot of little things off the agenda, which the executive now oversee. The major issues are discussed by the exuctive and recommendations made to the committee – this also saves heaps of time)

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    • Hi Jo. You raise an interesting point. Is the meeting the place for everyone to have their ‘say’? Concerns about many things can be raised with the Principal at anytime. Having the executive well prepared to present recommendations that have already gone through consultation outside of the meeting and information presented well before the meeting, allows the official stuff to just get done. The forum could be done after the meeting allow those not interested to leave.

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