We run a lot of meetings and we want to help you manage your meetings better.
Here at Cypress, our primary service is training and workshops. Our team calendars are full of daily back-to-back meetings, ranging from engagements with customers, workshops, Sales Demos, group training and so much more…
We’ve compiled a list of the top 3 things to make sure you’re doing, to assure your meetings and engagements are successful:
The most productive meetings we see are collaborative sessions with 5 participants or less. We find that meetings with 10 or more participants begin to have a diminishing return for collaboration. If you need to present to a large group, either mute all participants (for virtual meetings) or request that comments & questions wait for designated Q&A time.
Remember WIIFM “What’s In It For Me”: Make sure your participants are getting VALUE from your meetings and that you can quickly & effectively communicate the purpose of your meeting. Start off your meetings with a Value Proposition so that it is clear why everyone is on the call and why it is beneficial to participate. You should be able to present your ‘value proposition’ in a single sentence summary (15 seconds or less). If your meeting does not add value for a participant, they should be excused.
“Time is the most valuable asset we have”. Keeping an agenda will help keep your meetings on target and focused. We recommend having at least 2-3 main bullet points, or topics to discuss for your meeting. As the host, if your participants start to derail or go off into tangents, having clearly defined and documented bullet points will help keep your meeting on target.
For important topics that come up during your meetings that aren’t on an agenda, we suggest using a ‘parking lot’ to quickly capture participants’ requests for additional topics, thoughts, and ideas. These subjects can be revisited once the primary agenda items have been covered, or discussed in a separate session.
If you’re able to get through your meeting agenda and wrap things up early, your colleagues will appreciate it.
When you’re preparing to present information, think of it in 3 parts:
Once you’ve covered your WIIFM (the value each participant will receive by attending), briefly cover your agenda topics to prepare your participants. Then, state your facts & supporting information. Finally, follow-up with a summary.
By thinking in Thirds, your message will come across clearer and easier to follow.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you’re interested in working with us on a project or training engagement be sure to reach out to our Director of Public Training, Liz VanGraafeiland!
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