Meetings take up a lot of the working day. Estimates suggest that a total of 15% of an organisation’s collective time is spent in meetings whilst middle and senior management can spend between 35% and 50% of their working day in meetings. That would all be well if wasn’t for the fact that executives consider 67% of meetings to be ineffective, and other studies have averaged that most employees have 31 hours of unproductive meetings a month. That’s a lot of wasted time. So in a bid to reclaim some of those lost hours, here are some tips on how to have more productive meetings:
More Productive Meetings: Tip 1
Plan your meeting and start on time:
Where possible plan the meeting in advance and ensure everyone comes prepared to the meeting by setting out an agenda. Make sure the start time is clear and ensure a meeting room is secured so time isn’t wasted looking for a room or squeezing too many people into an unplanned space. If meeting room bookings are a problem in your organisation, you could consider an interactive room booking system like the Intevi Room Sync. It allows people to make, amend and view room bookings and availability from their personal device as well as from a touch screen interface outside the room so booking is easy and binding.
More Productive Meetings: Tip 2
Start promptly and stick to time:
If you have an agenda it’s a good idea to allocate time to each point and use a timer to ensure you stick to time. Setting up at the start of a meeting can be a time waster as people fiddle with wires to plug in laptops and share screens. Consider getting an easy-to-use system like Clickshare where all users need to do is plug in a USB ‘button’ (or download an app) to be able to share their screen at a click of the button.
More Productive Meetings: Tip 3
Business guru Richard Branson is a big fan of the standing meeting. In his words, “If you stand up, you’ll find that decisions get made pretty quickly and no-one nods off!”. It’s a great way to stay focused and to not get bogged down on one subject. Consider equipping meeting spaces with stand-height or adjustable height tables so people can still type, write or collaborate over documents. We like the Workszone Collaboration Tables which are mobile and height adjustable and come with an inbuilt ‘TechWell’ for simple connectivity to internet, AV and power.
More Productive Meetings: Tip 4
Engage the multi-taskers:
People multi-tasking is one of the biggest causes of unproductive meetings with 69% of people admitting to checking emails and 49% doing other unrelated work during the session. So make meetings more interactive, asking everyone to share and be a part of the discussion. If you are presenting, doing so on an interactive display like a SMART kapp iQ Pro edition means both the presenter and participants can interact with the touch screen display throughout the meeting. They can write in digital ink, attach or import images and make edits and annotations. Several displays including some interactive whiteboards like the SMART kapp and SMART kapp iQ allow you to view the contents of a main screen from your handheld device or laptop helping to keep people engaged and focused on the task ‘in-hand’.
More Productive Meetings: Tip 5
One way to have more productive meetings is to digitalise the output. Rather than writing on whiteboards or flip chart paper and photographing the output, you could use a digital capture board like the SMART kapp or SMART kapp iQ which allows you to capture and circulate your ideas as you go along at the touch of a button. Other meeting participants can also view the contents of the board on their personal device, even if they are working remotely which also helps to keep people more engaged. SMART kapp iQ users even have the power to write on the board from their personal device for true two-way collaboration. Another option is to use cloud-based technology to capture ideas, like the digital Nureva Span canvas. This allows you to make notes during a meeting but then return to these notes when you’re back at your desk or working from home. Cloud-based storage gives you the freedom to access information from wherever you are so meeting productivity can continue outside the meeting.
More Productive Meetings: Tip 6
Know what you’re doing:
Having the right technology is a great way to have more productive meetings but sometimes the very technology that is in place to help us can actually slow us down. We’ve all been there – technology that won’t turn on or connect or that you simply don’t know how to use. If in doubt, practice or get some training on your meeting room technology first. If you are in charge of purchasing meeting room technology think about your users – it’s not necessarily worth getting the latest high-tech kit if you have a company of technophobes or if you are not able to offer product training. If this is the case, consider ‘plug-and-play’ technology that is easy to use and that will not alienate users.
More Productive Meetings: Tip 7
Enlist a Meeting Consultant:
Sometimes you just can’t see the wood for the trees – you know meetings are lasting too long, or that people are disengaged but no amount of tricks, techniques or technology are making a difference. Maybe your meetings are fine, but you’re the sort of person that always strives for that little bit more… If you fit into one of these criteria, have you ever considered using a Meeting Consultant? Someone who can come and sit in on your meetings, and identify what is going well and how things could be even better. It’s not always about buying new technology, sometimes its just understanding how you can use the tools you have even more effectively. Find out more about our free ‘sit-in’ consultation service here:
If you would like further help or tips on how to have more productive meetings, give TecInteractive a call; the Meeting Room Technology experts.
main image reference: thenextweb.com