Tips for running effective business meetings - Business Works
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Tips for running effective business meetings

by Mariel Norton, IHG Business Advantage When it comes to pulling off effective business meetings, it can often be a challenge. Things can go wrong, people don't turn up or venues are double booked. There are of course, some factors that you can't control, but there are also many factors that you can take control of before the meeting to ensure that it runs in the way that you want it to. Luckily for you, we've come up with some tips to get your business meetings running as smoothly as possible.

Is the meeting necessary?

if there's nothing new or relevant, don't have a meeting!

You may have agreed at the beginning of the year to hold a meeting at a certain time every week, this works well if you have something to say, but if you or any other attendees have nothing new to say then does the meeting really need to take place? If you feel like you don't have anything new or relevant to say then ask your attendees if they do, if they don't then cancel the meeting and spend time doing another task. It saves awkward silences and wasting ten minutes of everyone's time.


Don't turn up to a meeting with nothing to say or with your notes scattered throughout your notebook. Make a list of what you want to address and then send an e-mail round to the attendees to see if they would like to add anything or raise any concerns. By doing this those that are attending the meeting will have a chance to digest the information and think of any extra points they might like to add. It also stops you from looking like an unorganised mess in front of your employees or colleagues which is, of course, a bonus.

Plan ahead

Don't just let everyone know about the meeting an hour before you want it to happen. Book your venue or room well in advance so that you can inform those that are attending, you should let them know the time, the date, dress code and where it will be held as soon as possible so they can plan other tasks around it especially if you are holding the meeting away from the workplace.

Be interesting

encourage others to engage and get involved

Make the meeting fun or as fun as it can be when you're talking about a serious matter. Don't just sit (or stand, whatever you prefer) and read off a board or your notes and on all accounts do not read every word on every slide in the presentation because everyone will fall asleep. Ensure that you encourage others to engage and get involved with your meeting so that they're not just sat there listening to your lecture otherwise people will lose interest.

Stick to the schedule

Start the meeting on time and end the meeting on time even if people are late. Set a time limit for your meeting before everyone arrives so that they know how long to expect to be there. It is fine to have a joke in a meeting to lighten the mood but don't get side-tracked because that will make the meeting last longer than it should.

The key points to remember:

  • be on time;
  • be professional; and
  • dress appropriately.

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