Conducting Effective Meetings for Startups

    [This article was written by Dawn Castell.]

    Startup meetings provide an opportunity to connect, brainstorm and produce ideas. Unfortunately, many meetings are not well organized. Productivity is low and it is a waste of time. Research in America has shown that 63% of meetings are conducted without a pre planned agenda. Moreover, meeting participants considered 33% of meeting time as unproductive. As a business leader, you can prevent all of these complaints by first focusing on what to do before a meeting, during a meeting and after a meeting.

    Determine Necessity

    First of all, ask yourself whether or not the meeting is actually necessary. Sometimes you can contact each other via online media sources or solve the issue without getting together.

    Determine Participants

    Secondly, make sure that only the right people are invited. People who need too much information and did not give any inputs might slow down a meeting. Assigning delegates is a more appropriate solution.

    Setting up an Agenda

    Furthermore, setting up an agenda beforehand helps you to estimate the time needed for the meeting. This also puts pressure on the chosen participants to handle each activity within time.

    Type of Meeting

    Determine what type of meeting would be scheduled to give everyone a clear view of what to expect from the meeting. Do you need feedback, do you want to make decisions, or do you want to provide everyone with important information? All these actions can make your meetings at Los Angeles meeting rooms more productive and organized. This preparation is obviously useless if the meeting itself sloppy.

    Use Flipped Meeting

    A flipped meeting is when you record and share out information ahead of time so everyone comes prepared and ready to meet. For example, you used to start your meetings by sharing stats, research data and other things that are important, but in all honesty, could have been shared ahead of time. Then everyone can arrive at the meeting prepared to jump right into activities like brainstorming, decision-making, problem-solving and things that need to be done in person. First, identify things such as charts and graphs, usability research, sales numbers; things that build context and help the team get on the same page. Then organize that information into a slide deck or an outline.

    Give an Outline

    Initiate the meeting by giving an outline of the meeting one more time. This prepares everyone to be ready for the meeting and to walk through the agenda item by item.

    Take Notes

    At the meeting, someone has to take notes because this is important to save all information from the meeting and sharing results later. The notes taker keeps records of the generated ideas and the time spent on each item.

    Assign a Chairman

    Assign a chairman and establish some ground rules. All participants should agree to listen to one another. Everyone should have the chance to talk and decisions are made by consensus. The chairman also keeps track if people begin unrelated discussions and reminds them of the objectives. The role of the chairman is important in tackling the common complaints of being disorganized or individuals dominating the meeting.

    Keep the Discussion Flowing

    Keep the meeting flowing by asking questions. Before wrapping up, ensure that each decision has an action and is assigned to someone. Summarize the content so that everyone is clear about what has been covered and about the decisions made.

    What to Do After the Meeting?

    Once the meeting is finished, you should gather the notes and reproduces them into clear summary of the meeting. Remember to send the summary to all participants. In this way, everyone knows exactly their responsibility and you are able to tackle the problem of unpublished results. You should also evaluate the progress schedule another meeting.

    Regular meetings can help a startup get new ideas and create cohesiveness among the team. However, the meetings need to be done using best practices in order to achieve any meaningful outcome. Use these tips when you want to organize an effective meeting.

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