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How To Run An Effective Meeting In 20 Minutes or Less

Everyone wants to run an effective meeting.

Everyone wants to save time.

But time and time again I bet you have experienced a certain feeling.

A feeling of annoyance as you sit in a meeting room for hours on end. Everyone seems to be talking, but nothing is getting done.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

You can run an effective meeting in 20 minutes or less!

Here’s how…

Run An Effective Meeting – Step One – Only Invite People Who Need To Be There

How To Run An Effective Meeting In 20 Minutes or Less - Only Invite People Who Need To Be There

The only people who should attend are meeting are those who are contributing to it.

Unless someone needs to;

– discuss something

– share something; or

– question something

then they shouldn’t be in the meeting in the first place.

Extra people add extra “noise”. And if you are looking to save time, the quicker you can get to the root of the issue the better.

You can keep everyone else in the loop with a short summary email after the fact.

Run An Effective Meeting – Step Two – Know What The Meeting Is For

The worst meetings are the one’s that have no agenda.

You waste 5 minutes.

Maybe even 10 minutes.

Going round, and round in circles before you even get to the issue at hand.

Whenever the invite goes out for a meeting an agenda should be sent along with it.

everyone knows, what’s to be discussed, why it’s to be discussed and what you hope to achieve.

Keep it short and to the point.

Bullet points are best.

And state the outcome the meetings is aiming to achieve. That way everyone knows, what’s to be discussed, why it’s to be discussed and what you hope to achieve.

Run An Effective Meeting – Step Three – Start The Meeting On Time

How to Run An Effective Meeting In 20 Minutes Or Less - Start On Time

People need to respect your time and that of their colleagues.

If the meeting is scheduled to start at 9am, it starts at 9am.

Regardless of whether everyone is in the room or not.

Sure, this might mean starting the meeting without everyone present. But this will only happen 2 or 3 times at most. Your team will quickly understand that they need to be on time, every time.

Run An Effective Meeting – Step Four – Manage The Meeting

The person who organised the meeting, should run the meeting.

Think of them as the conductor of the orchestra.

They are responsible for keeping the meeting on track and to the point. If one or two people take the meeting off topic. They bring it back on.

Furthermore, you often find a group of people start a side meeting within a meeting.

The conductor needs to shut this down and ask that they discuss these points later. And just amongst themselves.

Run An Effective Meeting – Step Five – Wrapping Up

How To Run An Effective Meeting in 20 Minutes or Less - Wrap Up

Every time something is agreed upon, the conductor should confirm it as so.

And then move on to the next point of action.

As the end of the 20 minutes approaches the conductor should also look to wrap things up.

Statements such as:

“We have five minutes left so what are your final thoughts on point A, B, C”

and

“The meeting’s about the wrap up. Are we all in agreement that the best course of action is X”

Work wonders!

Finally, you then need to be able to track the next steps and actions each member of the team is going to take. A task management application such as Task Pigeon can be ideal for this.

BONUS TIP – The Most Effective Meeting Hack

If you really want to run an effective meeting in 20 minutes or less.

And often find that they run over time.

Schedule your meetings for 20 minutes before lunch.

Or 20 minutes before the end of your typical work day.

People talk less when they have somewhere else they would rather be. And you will get to a decision quicker.