Contrary to the common belief that business meetings never really accomplish much, business meetings can prove to be quite effective. If performed correctly, of course. If your small business is actually going to take time out of its valuable time to hold a gathering, it had better be worth it. Here are some factors to consider to ensure the meeting you conduct is as effective as it can be.
Choose a Convenient Meeting Time. The time at which the business meeting is conducted plays a vital factor in the meeting’s success. The time choice is what normally makes or breaks the whole thing. If an inconvenient time is chosen, such as one during the busiest peak of your business day, you and your employees will constantly be wondering what is being forgotten or will rush in order to quickly return back to work. Pick a time that will allow for complete focus. A good choice would be from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. You may even chose to provide your employees with a simple breakfast like donuts or bagels as an incentive to be timely and attentive.
Keep Invitations Exclusive. The more people present, the greater the chance for side conversation and distractions. Also, there is no need to invite those who have no connection with the basis of the meeting. Only invite those who are directly related or will be affected by the outcome.
Prepare Ahead. Take the time to prepare for the meeting ahead of time. Give yourself enough time to compile the necessary notes and discussion points for not only yourself, but for your meeting attendees as well. Hand out the prepared documentation to the attendees within a week of the meeting to allow for adequate preparation. This will also prove to the meeting members that you mean business.
Create a Professional Atmosphere. The first step to achieving this is to look professional yourself. Dress well and authoritatively. Look neat, awake, and ready to go. It would be wise to arrive early, as you will most likely be the one to greet all the meeting attendees and direct them to their seats. This will not only allow the process to move more efficiently, but it will also help to welcome your employees and make them feel at ease. Make sure to start on time, as well. Leave room for proper introductions and a brief overview of the goal and main points of the meeting.
The foregoing tips will set your meeting off to a timely and impactful start. Make sure to pay attention to the listeners as the meeting progresses. Watch for cue signs of boredom or perhaps even shyness. Be the perfect, dedicated, warming host while still the strong boss they know you to be.