Effective Meetings

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Colin Williams
M3.33 Effective Meetings For Managers

The purpose of an agenda.
The purpose of the agenda is to facilitate the business of the meeting by providing a clear and concise list of the items to be dealt with. An agenda is one of the most important elements for a productive meeting. The agenda communicates important information such as: Topics for discussion

Presenter or discussion leader for each topic
Time allotment for each topic
Provides an outline for the meeting (how long to spend on which topics) Can be used as a checklist to ensure that all information is covered Let’s participants know what will be discussed if it’s distributed before the meeting. This gives them an opportunity to come to the meeting prepared for upcoming discussions or decisions Provides a focus for the meeting (the objectives of the meeting must be clearly stated in the agenda).

How to prepare prior to a meeting.
Clarify the purpose of the meeting. If you can’t figure out what you need to accomplish, you shouldn’t be calling a meeting Prepare an agenda with the focus stated in a single sentence at the top. If someone else is preparing the agenda, contact him or her to add your topics. A good agenda includes not only discussion topics and their allotments, but also the names of the attendees, the location, date and time, and any list of any background material attendees need to bring with them. Circulate the agenda in advance. Make it clear the meeting will start precisely on time. By doing this you will gain a reputation as someone whose meetings begin (and end) as scheduled, people will respect you for it. Appoint someone to document a record of decisions made, action items assigned and follow up strategies agreed upon. Promptly distribute a copy to all attendees.

Leave time at the end of the agenda to evaluate the meeting e.g. did you achieve the objectives stated at the start? How can you improve future meetings on this topic?

The role and responsibilities of the chairperson, secretary and individuals. Chairperson:
The roles of the chairperson of a meeting are:
Meeting planner
Meeting co-ordinator
Meeting manager
Meeting facilitator
Meeting leader
Meeting contributor

The chairperson’s responsibilities are:
Plan and co-ordinate the meeting in line with an agenda meeting process Write meeting objectives
Negotiate meeting time and date with attendees
Book venue
Invite attendees
Invite guests
Plan catering if required
Manage the meeting process ensuring:
All meeting roles are assigned and expectations clearly communicated Meeting protocols are negotiated and agreed by the whole team Everybody is able to attend as per agreed date and times
Preparation of resources and presentations required as per the meeting agenda is complete in time for the meeting date. Facilitate the meeting by:
Take leadership role and direct the meeting process through the agenda Guide and lead discussions to ensure all participants are given the opportunity for equal participation and wherever possible, the agenda runs to the agreed time frames Ensure no one particular meeting participant dominates discussions by enforcing meeting protocols such as honouring all participants contributions Contribute to the meeting

Contribute ideas and strategies to meeting discussions or brainstorming sessions Secretary:
After the chairperson, the secretary is the most important official at a meeting. A meeting small or large, requires a person to carry out the secretarial obligations in an effective manner. In most meetings the secretaries role is a very influential one. An effective secretary can assist the chairperson in planning, conducting and concluding a meeting. The secretary can take much of the load off the chairperson, so that the chairperson can spend his or her time more effectively and efficiently. The role of the secretary starts before the meeting, continues during and beyond the meeting. The role of a secretary before a...
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