Tips for Leading Effective Meetings

  1. Determine the purpose for the meeting.
  2. Determine the required participants –the intended audience and those whose input is required for discussion.
  3. Develop an agenda
    • Make sure your agenda aligns with the purpose of the meeting
    • If you are going to have others assigned to the agenda, ensure they agree to discuss the assigned agenda item.
  4. Send out the meeting invitation along with the agenda (or make sure the agenda is attached prior to the meeting date) to the determined participants. General rule for scheduling is at least one week in advance. However, if this is an adhoc meeting, ensure your purpose/agenda is included.
  5. Make the adequate preparations for the meeting. Plan and prepare materials that align to the agenda items.
  6. Whether your meeting is held via a conference call or face to face, plan to be in place at least 15 minutes in advance prior to the meeting start time. This time will allow you to gather all the materials and meeting tools in place for the meeting.
  7. Once the meeting time has come, allow participants a few minutes to join the meeting.
  8. By 3-5 minutes after the meeting start time, conduct a role call and get started with your meeting. Introduce yourself if necessary, the purpose (allow others to introduce or state who has joined the meeting if there are people on the phone).
  9. Facilitate your meeting according to the agenda.
  10. If things get too far in the weeds or veering from the agenda item(s), table the discussion for another time in order to focus on the agenda/purpose of the meeting.
  11. Ensure those who are speaking can state their points, even when questions occur for each of the topics.
  12. Maintain control of your meeting and get through all your agenda items.
  13. Redirect those who belabor a topic or display any disrespect during the meeting.
  14. Limit Distractions
  15. Take meeting notes or assign someone to take notes during the meeting.
  16. Conclude and adjourn the meeting on time. However, if your meeting must run over due to ensuring that pertinent information is discussed at that time, address it, and wrap up the meeting as soon as possible.
  17. Send out meeting minutes/notes within 24 hours. This gives your participants time to review and even provide feedback while the meeting discussion is still fresh on their minds. Your meeting notes serve a good purpose and are a great reference for agenda topics and future meetings.