To keep your meetings short, they need to have :
- A structured agenda, sent in advance. The agenda is the road map of the meeting. It communicates what will be discussed and sets expectations for the attendees. When it is sent out in advance with any relevant attachments/reports/information and the expectation that this information is read prior to the meeting, time is not wasted going over it. (Tadum is great tool for this!)
- A clear objective. Everyone attending the meeting needs to know the purpose of the meeting and the desired outcomes. This should be the ‘north star’ of the meeting, guiding the discussion and the focus of the conversation.
- A disciplined moderator. If the conversation starts to go off track, the person who is moderating the meeting needs to be able to step in and pull it back on topic. Off topic conversations can be revisited by tabling them for discussion at a later time.
- The right people. Make sure that you have the right people in the meeting. The greater the number of people attending, the greater likelihood that it will get off track and go over time. Who needs to be in the room to help achieve the objective? Who can just get the report/outcome emailed to them after the meeting? Keep it small.