The Key to Productive Meetings is the Way You End It

Meetings happen all the time in the business world. In fact, 11 million formal meetings take place daily in the United States—that’s three billion meetings per year. It’s hard to imagine how anyone can get their work done when they’re involved in so many meetings.

Most people don’t like meetings because often times they’re long, boring, unproductive and ultimately a waste of time. However, there are numerous tactics and tools you can use to increase the efficiency and ensure you will have more productive meetings. You can add more structure, prepare for a short 15 minute meeting or maybe not have a meeting at all. Even Seth Godin has offered advice on how to keep your meetings on track in a recent article—a field guide to the meeting troll.

There’s so much advice available on how to start meetings and what to do throughout your meetings to keep them focused on the topic. But, what do you do when it’s time to end a meeting? Sometimes dismissing people just isn’t enough. The way you end a meeting can be just as important as the way you start it.

These 3 tips will help you end your meeting strong and leave your guests happy they came.

 1.       Send a recap

Make sure you write down notes throughout the meeting and record any major decisions that were made. This helps ensure everyone was in agreement on the topics that were discussed. Oftentimes people sometimes misplace their notes or were unable to attend. For your convenience, online meeting tools, like iMeet, have two fully integrated note taking tools you can choose from. There is the Meeting Notes feature that allows you to type notes during your meeting, then save or email them to whomever you choose—whether they attended the meeting or not. Also available is the Evernote option. Because it’s a cloud-based application, it allows you to save meetings free to your Evernote account and access them from any device at a later time.

 2.       Offer a closing round

Twitter and Medium cofounder Ev Williams recently borrowed the closing round idea from Holacracy.  A closing round is when you go around the room at the end of the meeting and allow everyone to share their comments on how they think the meeting went. They can quickly share what they liked and offer any suggestions they may have on how to improve the next meeting. No discussions are allowed, which helps make the process go rather quickly. It gives everyone the chance to have a last word and as a bonus you get quick feedback that you can incorporate into your next meeting.

3.       Say thank you

Ultimately, you are thankful for everyone who took the time out of their day to join your meeting. So don’t forget to show your appreciation. Make sure to thank everyone for attending and encourage them to contact you if they have any questions.

Everyone’s time is valuable and you don’t want to waste it. Anyone can simply end a meeting, but if you take the extra step to end your meetings right, you’ll have successful and productive meetings every time.

Photo courtesy: Victor1558

About Lorna L.

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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