8 Ways to Optimize Your Meetings

Meetings are a necessary evil. However, let’s be honest: they kinda suck. They don’t have to, though! With a little bit of effort, you can turn a boring meeting into a nice break in the work day where people learn something and walk out feeling good.

Here are some tips to make meetings in your office suck a little less:

1. Be Concise
It’s important to emphasize your point. It’s also important to not over-emphasize your point. Don’t spend extra time reiterating the same thing over and over and over again. Make your point, emphasize it, and be done.
Also, make the information that you talk about in the meeting relevant to the people in the meeting. You don’t need to share everything with everyone. How will the information help the people in the meeting do their job? Keep the information relevant.

2. Make it Comfortable
Your employees will be much more enthusiastic and receptive to meetings if they aren’t distracted by uncomfortable chairs or a room that is too hot or too cold. Check the room before you start your meeting and do what you can to make it pleasing for your employees.
Think of other ways to make the environment as comfortable as possible, too. How is the lighting? Can you open the windows to bring some fresh air into the room?

3. Choose the Right Time
Have you ever gone to a meeting that was right at the end of the day? And you had to stay late because everything you were planning to do at the end of your day was pushed back until after the meeting? Or have you ever had a meeting at the busiest time of the day only to come back to a number of messages and work? Pick the time that you have your meeting with your employees work day in mind- not yours.
Also, if you are arranging a meeting for all of your employees, consider having two meetings. This will allow half of your staff to cover the work load during the meeting. A meeting should never mean that clients are not helped.

4. Use Visual Aids
Many people respond better to visual aids compared to simply listening to someone talk. Using visually appealing PowerPoint presentations or graphs to keep people engaged.
Make them entertaining, too. Just because you are making a presentation about work material doesn’t mean that it has to be bland and boring. Use color and fun graphics. You can even put something kinda funny in there.

5. Interact
Don’t just talk to your employees. Talk with them. Encourage questions and comments. You can even include activities to force people to speak up. If it’s a small meeting, ask every person to give their opinion on the meeting material or offer a way to adjust to the meeting material. For larger meetings, ask multiple open-ended questions and hope that people speak up.

6. Have a Positive Attitude
You need to have a high level of energy when you’re running a meeting. You also need to be extremely positive. Work does not need to be a negative place. The meeting definitely doesn’t need to be a negative place. This starts with you.

7. Provide Snacks
It’s simple. People will be happier listening to boring work-related material when they are eating cookies or pizza. In fact, employees might actually WANT to go to the meetings. You can also provide bagels and cream cheese for morning meetings.
The best part about this is that the food can be written off as a business expense as well. And don’t forget the coffee or Pepsi.

8. Don’t Feel Obligated
Too many people believe that a weekly or monthly meeting should be mandatory. But what’s the point of having a meeting if there’s nothing to discuss? Do not feel the need to have a meeting if there is nothing to talk about. If you have too many meetings, employees will not take them seriously. Plus, it takes up work time.
Many things can also be expressed via e-mail. Yes, you want to make time to reach out to your employees, but is a meeting really the best way to do this?

Your meetings don’t have to be boring or an unwelcome annoyance during the work day. You can make them much better by implementing these simple tips.

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