Synchronous meetings take a lot of time and effort, but they are still valuable for internal purposes; they keep your team connected, prevent isolation, and are great for brainstorming, problem-solving, and big decision-making. Here are 5 tips on how to prepare for a productive meeting
Create a meeting template
First things first, begin by creating a meeting template. This will save you time down the road by not having to start from scratch every time. Having a clear and detailed outline for the meeting will help you attain your goals and ensure that everyone is on the same page. At Optemization, we use Notion templates for different types of meetings.
Define meeting roles
No one likes to show up on time for a meeting only to be caught off-guard with a last-minute meeting role, so it's important to have everyone prepared. Assigning roles to team members ahead of time can be a great way to ensure that everyone contributes equally. If one of your employees is very punctual, then they can be assigned the role of timekeeper. Their job is to ensure that meetings start and end on time and that each item on the agenda is discussed. The notetaker should be organized and responsible for recording key decisions and sending out the minutes after the meeting. In Notion, you can do this by creating the roles in your meeting database.
Ask attendees to contribute to the agenda
Attendee contributions and suggestions can turn a good meeting into a great one. Ensure that your agenda is collaborative and straightforward to share so that nothing is overlooked. Giving the attendees the option to contribute to the agenda can reveal any potential challenges, areas of concern, or blind spots that may be discussed at the meeting. This allows attendees to prepare a few talking points or ideas in advance, which they can discuss with some of their colleagues at the next meeting
Attach or embed supporting documents and graphs
As you create the agenda (which topics will be covered, when, and by whom), you'll have a better idea of which documents or files to include. This way, everyone will be up-to-date and prepared for the meeting. Time is valuable, so you must make the most of it. Preparing your meeting agenda 24 hours in advance and encouraging attendees to review it beforehand will allow for better discussions since everyone will have had time to think about the topics
Think about follow-up activities
Meetings are not "one and done." They require preparation and follow-up. Focusing on what occurs after meetings, rather than just what happens during them, will significantly help you maximize outcomes. Think carefully about what needs to be done after the meeting so that everyone on your team knows what they need to do. Assign specific tasks and deadlines, and make sure to give enough information and context regarding said tasks to prevent wasted time going back and forth.
Meetings can be a great place to communicate information, collaborate on projects and make decisions. On the other hand, meetings that haven't been properly prepared can leave you drained and frustrated. Using resources such as HiveMind to plan your meetings can help your company save time and make the most of your synchronous communication.
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