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A checklist for running impressive meetings

Impressive meetings are only impressive because most meetings are so bad! In our mind, an impressive meeting is one that is well organized, structured, and well-executed by the meeting organizer.

Some things that will help you look like a meeting super-star and make your meeting impressive include: 

  1. Send a calendar invite with the location of the meeting and a link to the agenda.
     
  2. Create an outcome-oriented agenda prior to the meeting so it is clear what the purpose of the meeting is and what you hope to achieve. Things to include in your agenda:
     
    1. To-dos/Action items from the previous meeting- Are they done? Do they require additional discussion?
    2. Attachments - Reports or supporting materials for discussions. These should be reviewed prior to the meeting to help keep the meeting efficient.
    3. Discussions - This is the meat of the meeting. These are the items you want feedback on or decisions made and should take up the majority of time in the meeting.
    4. Updates - Keep these quick and on overarching goals/projects. They are not meant to be long reports on what is happening verbalized to the group. Leave that information in an attachment. Are you on-target, at risk, or on target? If there is something worth discussing from your update, add it to the discussions prior to the meeting.
    5. Metrics - What types of activities are you measuring to help manage performance and keep people accountable?
       
  3. Send out the agenda ahead of the meeting so everyone has a chance to review, add to it if necessary, and prepare. Awesome, impressive meetings move quickly and are most effective when everyone is prepared. 
     
  4. As the meeting leader/moderator, use the agenda as a tool to keep the agenda on track and on time. It is your guide and can be referenced when the conversation gets off track.
     
  5. Take meeting minutes that include discussion points, decisions, and action items/to-dos. No one remembers what they talked about in a meeting 3 months ago. Make sure minutes are taken that capture what actually happened in the meeting so they are a helpful reference in the future.
     
  6. All actions items/to-dos should have a person assigned to them and a due date. This is a key part of creating accountability in your meetings. If someone says they are going to do something, they are way more likely to do it if it is written down with their name next to it with a due date.
     
  7. After the meeting is over, meeting minutes should be sent to everyone, including those who were not able to attend the meetings. Alternatively, keep the meeting minutes in an easy-to-access place so that everyone can find them, versus hidden somewhere on your desktop.

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