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Effective Meetings Tips

Medha Godbole
The corporate world is all about meetings, and if you have to carve a niche for yourself, you need to learn how to handle them. A business meeting cannot go well without planning and a bit of homework. Check out the story to know the essentials of a successful meeting.
Businesses and firms are replete with business deals and transactions. In fact, this is something that makes a business such an interesting and dynamic entity. Most of these deals, as we all know, are not accomplished without meetings; it could be very primary or a very high-profile one, involving business tycoons in a merger.
Regardless of the nature of the meeting, the key is to be impeccably prepared for it. Even though meetings are a part of routine for innumerable professionals, sometimes, a lack of application ruins their effectiveness. Hence, here is an elucidation of some effective meeting guidelines that will surely help you out.
Effective Techniques for Business Meetings

To Meet or Not to Meet

Prioritizing is a fundamental aspect of having meetings. If you can communicate an issue or information through a report, or via an e-mail, you might not even require conducting a meeting. Ask yourself, whether the issue or information to be shared, is worth the meeting. Reserve it for an extremely critical issue.
If at all you are skeptical about whether the meeting would be a smooth sail and how to go about it, hire a professional meeting facilitator. He/she would make it certain that the meeting goes well.

Do your Homework

Before you have a meeting, decide upon the aim and the purpose of it. You should be absolutely clear about the things you want to achieve at the end of it. Write down specifically about your goals and have no scope for ambiguity.
Make it a point to keep it so crystal clear and simple that even if another person reads it and does the talking, he/she should be able to understand it.

Agendas and All

After you have set goals, you have to set an effective agenda. You cannot just go there and be blank, right? So, it is essential to prepare if you want it to go smoothly; otherwise, you will get stuck thinking about what all are you going to speak about. Having a meeting without an agenda is similar to cooking a dish without knowing the ingredients.
Agendas are an inevitable aspect of any kind of business communication. After you have prepared the agenda, make sure that you send it to all those who are going to be a part of the meeting.

The Agenda Reigns Supreme

Once you are in a meeting, focusing on it and planning the agenda are very important. Avoid diverting from the agenda and dabbling into useless topics. It is always better to concentrate on the business at hand; it will save yours and the others' time, as well.

Take Charge

Once you are at the helm of affairs, there is no way out. You have to stick to your task and ensure that the things go well. It could happen that you go for the meeting, and you have absolutely no idea about what you are going to say, or have no written agenda.
But you have to face it; you cannot walk away. Make an agenda while the meeting progresses. Make a note of the important issues and determine the most important of them.

No Mission Impossible

After you take charge, do not let the issue go unresolved. Finish the issue at hand and then proceed to the other. Do not just discuss on an issue and leave it at that; plan a course of action. Till you do that, pursue the task. This is basic business etiquette.

Time is Money

If a crucial issue has to be decided upon, allot a specific time for that. Do not let the decision hang around for ages. Decide upon a time frame for the final decision on an issue, corresponding to its importance. Unnecessary rambling on an inconsequential issue will create boredom and disinterest.

The Good, Bad and the Ugly

Determine upfront who are going to prove valuable for your meeting. Invite only those who can contribute constructively to it. You do not want drowsy, non-contributing people to spoil it. Therefore, ask only those to come, who can help you achieve what you want from that meeting.

Out With It

Finally, give others a chance to speak out their mind. Pass on the gavel - give the participants an opportunity to reflect and express their views.
Finally, a very crucial thing in a meeting is to stay calm and put the point across clearly. For that, it goes without saying that you need to be confident; it is all about confidence and how you present your views. Last but not the least, these tips are useless, unless you are polite and have a pleasant demeanor.