Meetings are crucial to the success of your business. As an assistant, you will be in charge of managing meetings. To provide an effective meeting it is a matter of planning, organization, and timing. Fortunately, experience will make meetings easier to manage. Additionally, you can improve meetings by following a few basic tips.
Creating an Agenda
The key to a successful meeting is an effective agenda. You must be familiar with agendas and how to create them. There are different computer programs available that you can use to create and keep track of meeting agendas. Before you create an agenda, you need to define its purpose. You should ask your manager and the speakers for feedback. Consider the meeting’s objectives, and write them down to guide you in creating the agenda.
Steps to the Agenda:
Keeping minutes provides a legal and historic record of the meeting. Taking minutes is a very important job and should not be taken lightly. Keeping minutes begins before the meeting. If taking minutes is new to you, it is a good idea to check in with the chairperson to determine exactly what is required of you at the meeting. The requirements for the minutes will depend on the type of meeting. Fortunately, there are different programs and templates to help guide you.
Once the meeting is set, make note of who will and will not be attending. Some meetings require a quorum to vote, and no voting may be done if the necessary quorum will not be present. You must take attendance at the meeting. People who give advanced notice that they will not be at a meeting are listed under “Apologies,” and people who do not are listed under “Absent.” What you record will depend on the circumstances, but there are some basic guidelines.
While an agenda is supposed to keep meetings under control, attendees do not always follow them. Rants and off-topic tangents can cause meetings to run long and eat up everyone’s valuable time. You have to balance keeping the meeting on track without alienating the attendees. Fortunately, there are a few ways to keep meetings on time.
The size of a meeting will greatly affect the proceedings. Smaller meetings may be more informal, while larger meetings require greater organization. You need to be familiar with the differences between the two so you can adequately prepare. Any meeting with more than 50 attendees is considered a large meeting.
Smaller meetings are more intimate. The smaller venue encourages everyone to become involved, but people are more likely to go off topic.
Large meetings require a great deal of space, and they do not encourage teamwork or intimacy. Employees are more likely to lose interest during large, formal meetings. However, large meetings typically have fewer interruptions and stay on schedule.
Harvey sent out the agendas for his first meeting. He was prepared to take the minutes, and felt confident that the meeting would end punctually. The meeting began promptly at 8:00 AM. At first, everyone seemed to follow the agenda. However, Mr. Smith went off topic when he was presenting the ROI for the new training program. He gave personal anecdotes and made a few jokes about how pointless meetings are. As a result, he put the entire meeting 15 minutes behind. He then took up valuable time asking questions that did not related to the subject of the meeting. The meeting ended at 10:00 AM when it should have ended at 9:30 AM.