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Short and Sweet: Getting Everything You Need from a 15-Minute Meeting

Most people don’t like meetings because they tend to waste a lot of time. What if you could remove all the unnecessary pieces and transform those long, boring meetings into efficient 15 minute meetings?

Interested? These five tips will help shorten your meetings without losing any efficiency.

1. Schedule a 15-Minute Meeting

If you only have 10 minutes worth of information, don’t schedule a meeting for an hour. Scheduling programs, like Outlook, have meeting times that default to half-hour increments. As a result, many people schedule their meetings in those same half-hour time-slots whether they need that much time or not. After a few quick steps, you can customize your calendar and be on your way to scheduling shorter, more efficient meetings.

2. Create an Agenda and Use It

Create an agenda a few days early and circulate to the team. This gives the group time to think about the topics so they can come prepared with feedback and suggestions

If you’re meeting in person, write the agenda on a whiteboard so attendees are able to follow along during the meeting. If meeting virtually, send a quick email about 5 minutes before the meeting so people have quick access to it.

3. Start on Time and Stick to Your Schedule

This may be the most challenging advice to follow. How many meetings have you been to that started and ended on time? Probably not very many. Most scheduling programs don’t allow any time between meetings. If you have one meeting ending and another one beginning at 11:30, there’s no way you can make it to your second meeting on-time. Scheduling shorter meetings will allow you the extra time to make it from one conference room to the next.

Even though you may not need to leave your desk, virtual meetings also have a habit of starting late.  50%  of web conference calls start late because of technology problems, according to Wainhouse Research. By choosing a superior-quality conferencing software like GlobalMeet you can rest assure that your calls wills start on schedule.

Be sure to stick to your agenda and table any unrelated comments or topics for another meeting so you can end the meeting on time and get everyone on their way.

4. No Distractions

For such a short meeting, distractions should be kept to a minimum. If meeting in-person, the only people that should have laptops are the presenters and the person assigned to note-taking responsibilities. Also, no phones should be allowed. If you’re joining an online meeting, tuck any distracting devices away in a drawer

5. Send a Recap

It’s always important to create a recap that includes any key takeaways and action items resulting from the meeting. Short and efficient meetings allow time for someone to send a full recap to group and still make it to their next appointment on time.

Are you not a big fan of long meetings? Try these tips when scheduling your next meeting. After attending a few short meetings you just might change your mind.

Photo courtesy: lucamascaro

 

About Lorna Love

Originally from Florida, Lorna moved to Atlanta to join the PGi team. In between trying to get used to Atlanta traffic and the crazy weather, she spends her free time playing with her dog, Mylo. Lorna enjoys writing about online collaboration tools and meeting tips.

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