Organization: The Key to More Productive Meetings

By Manpreet Singh


The weekly meeting can be one of the most important parts of a small business’ operation. The meeting has the power to set the mood for the rest of the week and skyrocket productivity around the entire office, if done correctly. The problem arises when the leader doesn’t know how to properly conduct the meeting, causing it to drag on and key points to be lost in trivial discussions. At TalkLocal, we found the key to conducting more productive meetings lies in organization. Here are a few tips to keep your meetings organized and allow you to get important points across.

Have an itinerary for your meeting

Know what you want to discuss going into the meeting. Distribute an outline when the meeting begins and go over each of the points with your team. This will help employees in the meeting to prepare their own ideas and suggestions around the general frame you want to conduct the meeting in. On top of this, the meeting is less likely to go off track if people know what needs to be discussed going into it.

Send out information ahead of time

If you know that there’s something you want to specifically discuss in a meeting – whether it’s a new business model, a new type of system you want to introduce, etc. – send out as much information ahead of time as possible. Suggest ways to discuss a given issue in this pre-meeting outline as well; make sure people are well-informed on the content you intend to discuss and the way you intend to conduct the meeting.

Keep meetings brief

Meetings without a set end time have the potential to drag on for hours and accomplish little. To fix this problem before it happens, send out an email brief before the meeting establishing a start and end time. If everyone knows beforehand how long a meeting will last, they will keep their points concise and only speak when they feel they have something important to share.

Delegate “problem issues” to committees

A common occurrence in business meetings is having a particular issue ignite a heavy debate among those present. These arguments, while they might be warranted, have the potential to drag a meeting on longer than it needs to be and derail it from the original agenda. If one of these issues comes up, delegate finding a solution to a committee of members who seem most passionate about it at the meeting. This will allow the meeting to move on and for the problem to eventually be solved by a competent and driven team.

Assess how productive the meeting was at the end

After the meeting is completed, take note of how successful it was. Compare the start and end time you wished to achieve and the tasks you wished to accomplish with the actual runtime of the meeting and how many tasks you were able to complete. Experiment with how you run your meeting until you find a model that works best for you!

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