8 Great Pieces Of Meeting Management Advice

If you have a nagging feeling that your meetings are wasting time, you’re probably right. These great bits of meeting management advice can help.

Dylan, Founder and Managing Partner at ClearPoint, has over 25 years of experience working with organizations to improve their performance management and strategy execution processes.

Anyone can hold a strategy management meeting—but holding an effective meeting? That’s another story.

Hours (even days!) of work often go into meeting preparation in an effort to ensure a meeting doesn’t go off the rails. Whether you follow a solid meeting prep checklist and feel ultra-prepared or you feel like your meetings never have productive outcomes, you can always learn from the advice of others in the industry.

Is your reporting process more difficult than it needs to be? It’s time to track down and conquer the monsters lurking in your organization.

That’s why we’ve outlined 8 great pieces of meeting management advice from business leaders around the country (organized alphabetically by last name). If you put these into practice, you’re sure to see some improvement in your meeting productivity.

8 Great Pieces Of Meeting Management Advice

1. Minimize your meetings.

Kean Graham
CEO, MonetizeMore

“Every manager should focus on minimizing their meetings. That is, minimizing the number of meetings, the number of people in the meetings, and the duration of the meetings. There are too many meetings that waste team members’ time and add very little additional value. Try to cut down these meetings as much as possible to enable team members to focus on their goals rather than get bogged down.”

2. Ban back-to-back meetings.

Darin Herle
Co-Founder, Trackmeet

“I've personally observed thousands of meetings run during my career and have seen the great to the awful from a meeting management perspective. My number one tip? Back-to-back meetings are not allowed. To allow for proper follow-up and internalization, attendees need time immediately following a meeting to collect thoughts, determine next steps, plan, etc. Back-to-back meetings are a sign of inefficiency and they don't allow attendees to make the most of their meeting time. Calendars have become an unmanaged dumping ground for meetings whereas they should be closely guarded to maximize our most precious resource: time.”

3. Set and enforce an agenda.

Barry Maher
Author, Consultant, & Speaker, Barry Maher & Associates

“Is your meeting a waste of time? If it doesn't have an agenda or if you're not sticking to that agenda, then chances are you're wasting at least some time (and probably more than just some). The single best meeting tip I know is to set and enforce a timed agenda for every meeting. Fifteen minutes for this subject, twenty minutes for that. And anyone in the meeting can (and everyone should) enforce that timeframe. The question that keeps everything on time is, ‘We're running over the time allocation on this. Do we want to move on to another subject or extend the meeting?’ It's amazing how quickly things can get wrapped up when the alternative is extending the meeting.”

4. Invite the right people.

Ray McKenzie
Founder & Principal, Red Beach Advisors

“My best piece of advice for meeting management is to only invite the decision makers and important stakeholders to meetings. Do not invite the entire company or whole department to meetings where decisions need to be made. Focus on making decisions to move solutions forward—those decisions are made by the key stakeholders. Too much input from those who are not directly affected by the decision will make the process more excruciating, and nobody likes to schedule more meetings.”

5. Make sure everyone knows the takeaways.

Charlie Riley
Director Of Marketing, Lawley

“A meeting is a waste of time if defined next steps are not agreed upon and individual responsibilities are not known. Having a clear goal funnels the conversation to make sure everyone is working to meet that goal.”

6. Power down.

Charlie Riley
Director Of Marketing, Lawley

“Require that mobile devices are turned off unless necessary for research. Focus falls off a cliff if participants are allowed to casually drift away from contributing to the meeting by diverting their attention to email, social media, or anything else.”

7. Keep your meetings short and sweet.

Nancy A. Shenker
Founder & CEO, theONswitch

“After having sat through hours of mindless meetings in corporate life and avoiding them now as an entrepreneur, my best advice is: Don't ever have a meeting longer than an hour. 30 minutes is ideal! Make an agenda and stick to it. Insist that everyone put their phones down (or upside down). If someone digresses, reign them in and put the topic in the parking lot for another meeting.”

8. Utilize “bullet meetings.”

Mitzi Weinman
Founder, TimeFinder

“When I work with clients who want to keep their meetings focused and short, I suggest they have ‘bullet meetings.’ Bullet meetings are short, focused meetings vs. long, drawn-out, unproductive meetings. You can stand up or sit, but the idea is that participants need to come prepared and can only speak in ‘bullet points.’ This is especially helpful when folks like to give  stories and go on and on. Bullet meetings should be between 5-15 minutes and no longer.”

Are meeting “monsters” holding you back?

Instituting these great pieces of meeting management advice at your next meeting is critical. But sometimes, certain employees and co-workers can cause major damage to your meeting effectiveness that even these tips can’t fix.

If this is the case, it’s critical that you identify and understand the “reporting monsters” in your organization so you can get past these headache-inducing habits. This free guide will give you the tools you need to do just that! Download it today so you can look forward to your next meeting.

8 Great Pieces Of Meeting Management Advice