Attending back-to-back meetings can be tedious. Meetings can also be unnecessary and may even take time away from other areas of focus. However, proper planning can ensure productive and efficient meetings. Here are a few simple steps for holding successful meetings.

Invite Only the Right Persons

Ever attended a meeting and realized halfway through that it was unnecessary? Such a meeting can’t be successful. Does an IT expert need to participate in a meeting to answer IT-related questions? If so, invite just one person who is qualified for the task.

Have Clear Expectations

Accompany meeting notifications with clear purposes and expectations—state all the requirements for those attending the meeting. Let attendees know whether or not they will require to take notes. Are all employees allowed to attend the meeting, and are they expected to show up with their suggestions and ideas? Sharing ideas and interacting is an acceptable practice in today’s collaborative workplaces. So, it should be prioritized throughout the meeting. Send out the meeting’s expectations to those attending and give them time to look over them. That way, there won’t be surprises when the meeting starts.

Determine the Relevance of the Meeting

First, determine the necessity of the meeting. Formal meetings are often thought to be the best way to have a discussion and share ideas. However, some information is better shared via a conference call or email. Rallying a few workers in the office for a short conversation would be more cost-saving and effective than holding a formal meeting.

Have an Agenda

An effective meeting begins with planning what to discuss. Define the objectives of the meeting and what needs to be accomplished. Develop the agenda and send it over to the attendees via email or text messages. Remember to include the start time and the topics to be addressed. Avoid bogging down the meeting with an overly detailed agenda. However, an agenda alone can’t run an effective meeting. Keep the discussions on track and stick to the agenda.

Keep the Meeting Simple and Short

Allotting too much time to a meeting can result in time wastage. For example, a meeting slated for an hour can take even a shorter time if it is planned well. Make sure that time isn’t wasted on a specific agenda item. Effective meetings are always concise and to the point.