The A-Z of a great meeting (Part 1)

Recently, several of my coaching clients have been telling me of their frustration with meetings in their organisations. Too many. Too long. Not relevant. Not condusive to speaking up. No clarity about next steps.

So, I’ve been thinking about the whole issue of how to create a successful meeting culture and how to get your voice heard. Here’s Part 1 of my A-Z of tips for a top meeting – for everyone.

A is for Agenda. Have one. Please. However short the meeting. And make sure there is a clear Action plan for what needs to happen next.

B is for Breathe. If you’re nervous about speaking take a slow breath from your belly. Only then open your mouth to speak.

C is for Confidence. You can project confidence even if you don’t feel it. Three easy tricks: Sit up straight with your shoulders back. Make eye contact around the table. Smile.

D is for Diary. Don’t be the time waster who has to rush back to their desk. Bring it with you.

E is for Emotion. Best kept out of the meeting room. Passion yes. Emotion no.

F is for Feedback. Ask a trusted colleague to feed back how you came across in the meeting.

G is for Good-humoured. Even if the meeting gets heated, keep your equilibrium. Be professional and use neutral phrases to make your point.

H is for Hogging the limelight. Keep it brief.  Know what you want to say and make your point succinctly. If nerves mean you talk too much, see B.

I is for Interrupting. Just don’t. A good chair will move things along. If it’s you chairing graciously interupt colleagues who are going on too long or off subject and draw the meeting back to the agenda.

L is for Language. Know what you want to say before you speak and use clear, powerful language to get your message across.

M is for Multi-tasking. Not a great idea. Just focus on what’s going on in the meeting. Doing other things as well doesn’t make you look busy – just rude.

N – Z coming soon…

I can support your staff to run better meetings and participate more successfully through one-to-one coaching and training. Contact me here for a complementary chat about how I can help you.

For more tips and ideas on getting the best out of your third sector staff follow @katieduckworth on twitter

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