Let’s face it: company meetings can be boring. Nobody likes to spend multiple hours a day sitting in a room talking about what you’re
supposed to be doing instead of actually doing it. There’s no quicker way to lower morale and productivity than by having a meeting that fails to produce results. However, meetings are an inevitable part of doing business and having a job – but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring and a waste of time. Highly efficient meetings have the ability to spark creativity, generate ground-breaking ideas and prompt meaningful discussion. If you’re looking for ways to have more productive meetings, here are 5 tips:

Ask yourself, “Is this meeting necessary?”

First, you need to ask if you really need to hold the meeting. Meetings are great for some things such as gathering input on a topic or coming to a group decisions. However, there are times when having a meeting isn’t necessary. Before scheduling a meeting, decide whether a meeting is really the best way to get the job done. If it’s not the best way, find an alternative option such as sending out a company-wide email.

Cut down your meeting time

If a meeting is required, try to keep it as short as possible. Just because you have an hour blocked out in the calendar doesn’t mean you
have to spend an hour in the meeting. If there are items to be discussed, focus on getting your team to come to a consensus and wrap up once you’re done. If you’re meeting just to discuss important action items with your team, focus on making those announcements, answering questions and ending the meeting. You’d be surprised how easy it is to turn a one-hour meeting into a 30-minute meeting just by staying focused and on topic.

Create an agenda

Creating an agenda and talking points prior to a meeting will help keep you and your employees on topic, and it will help keep the meeting short. Once you’ve decided what your goals are and the topics that need to be reviewed and discussed, make sure that you distribute the agenda to everyone in the meeting. You can do this by printing it out on a piece of paper, sending it via email or putting it you’re your company’s cloud solution such as Backblaze, Evernote, Dropbox or Google Drive.

Ban electronic devices

When employees bring laptops, tablets and smartphones into meetings, they’re usually more focused on their electronics than on the meeting. Often times, this causes people to miss important information and forces you to repeat something multiple times. Not allowing electronics in your meetings can help keep your employees more focused and can also help cut down on meeting time. Instead, encourage your employees to take their notes using pen and paper.

Make it fun

No one likes long, dry lectures or boring PowerPoint presentations. When holding a company meeting, don’t be afraid to get creative. Hold your meetings in a more relaxing environment, inject some humor or show interesting visuals to introduce a new agenda item. Also, encourage your employees to engage in the conversation. Giving your employees reasons to stay alert will help keep them excited about the meeting.