Do meetings give you headaches?


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Are meetings the worst part of your day? Do you find that meetings drag on and nothing ever gets resolved? With these tips you can cut down meeting time, solve problems more quickly... and, who knows, maybe even enjoy your meetings.

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Do meetings give you headaches?

  1. 1. Do meetings give you headaches?We spend twenty-three hours a week in meetings – working out an ROI can bedifficult and keeping the room on-task a challenge, not to mention keepingremote participants involved.Here are 10 tips to make meetings run more smoothly:
  2. 2. Do we need tohave this meeting?Your first question should always be:Do we need this meeting at all?This all comes down to good meetingpreparation.You can have meetings standing upmeetings sitting down and meetingsover ‘skype’ and video / dataconferencing, but research shows thata high percentage of people are not sure if what they are doing now is reallycontributing to the higher level goals of the company. If you can’t work out whatthe goals of the meeting are, or could achieve these in a faster, more efficientway, cancel it.Sharing folders can help you keep in touch and aligned without the needfor a meeting.
  3. 3. Put on thepressure…… time-wise.Forbes recommends scheduling themeeting for the half the time youthink you’ll need, because, like mostget-togethers, meetings will fillwhatever time is given to them.Halve that time and you will get tothe point quicker, make fasterdecisions and your attendees willlearn to come more prepared.
  4. 4. Minimise start-uptimeStudies have shown that it takes anaverage of 8-12 minutes to startmeetings that rely on technology.Turn that delay into a single clickwith the new SMART RoomSystem™ for Microsoft®Lync®, combining touch-enableddisplays with an HD videocamera, speakers, microphones anddesktop control console to bringtogether high quality audio, videoand data.
  5. 5. Clock WatchWe all know how easy it is to getoff-task in a meeting – virtual orotherwise. The agenda should begoals rather than discussionpoints, with a time limit forreaching them.With SMART Meeting Prosoftware on your SMARTBoard, you can access meetingresources and attendeedetails, monitormeeting time, extend room bookings and quickly start and end meetings throughintegration with Microsoft Exchange.Stick to that time limit. Be ruthless in cutting off the rambling. Virtual teams are atleast as likely to go off on a tangent – if not more so.
  6. 6. EncourageCollaborationEncourage collaboration. Powerfulsoftware features make it easy tocapture, refine and shareideas, feedback and next steps.SMART Ink™ lets you write over anyapplication, document or web pageand share it immediately, andorganising notes is simple. You caneven write over shared desktops –so there are plenty of innovativeways to collaborate.Virtual meetings are most productive when everyone has a voice and takesownership of the project. Get everyone to bounce ideas off each other, notjust the loudest team member.
  7. 7. Get on your feetOne of the many good thingsabout SMART Boards is they getpeople on their feet.According to Forbes, there’sactually substantial researchshowing that stand-up meetingscan be more efficient than sit-down ones. In one study, groupsthat were standing took roughlyone-third less time to makedecisions than those who wereseated… with no loss in thequality of decisions.It can encourage participants to thinkoutside of the box (or on their feet) aswell as combating the ‘it’s-another-meeting’ slump.
  8. 8. AccelerateDecision-MakingYou can do this by sharinginformation, with easy accessto resources and supportingcontent – which helps teamsfocus and understand keypoints faster.Another tip?If you know you tend todominate, work on askingbetter questions and givingthe quieter members of theteam the chance to react.
  9. 9. Involve RemoteParticipantsUsing Bridgit conferencing softwareparticipants in virtually any location cancontribute meaningfully through two-wayinteraction on shared screens. Combinethis with your video conference system tocollaborate face-to-face in real time. Youcan also participate in the meeting fromyour iPad via the free Bridgit app. Withaccess to any Wi-Fi or 3G network, youcan create or join meetings from youriPad and interact with content presented on an interactive display.Set a schedule of speakers so that everyone gets the chance to speak – this alsomakes sure attendees know that this is what is expected of them. This doesn’t meanallocating each member of the team an intimidating 10 minute slot, but assigning acouple of speaking slots and letting them know what’s expected of them. Don’tforget to include some unstructured time!
  10. 10. CombatPresentee-ismPeople tend to zone out in conferencecalls, especially when there’s a largergroup.Use video and data conferencing whereeveryone is actually ‘present’: this isthe closest thing you can get to face-to-face meetings, and means people areless likely to be on their phones oremailing.With the chat function in the Bridgit software, you can also communicate withparticipants through instant messaging, without disturbing other participants – theperfect way to give a nudge.
  11. 11. Follow it upCreate action points and follow uptasks immediately after themeeting.Turn ideas into action. Notes fromyour collaboration session can bedistributed immediately to helpensure that everyone is on the samepage and working toward commongoals.SMART’s integration with Microsoft Exchange means you can accessattachments, attendee information and meeting details sent in the meetingrequest, and email meeting outcomes to all attendees at the end of the meeting.Check on progress a couple of days later so that this information stays fresh.
  12. 12. are your tips to have moreproductive meetings?Continue the conversation: