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9 Communication Tips for Effective Meetings

Do you hold meetings in your business?

Are they always effective meetings, with positive outcomes and the subsequent actions followed through successfully?

Maybe not everyone?

We’ve probably all been to meetings where you come away thinking “well, nothing was achieved there!” A lot of the time, it’s simply because communication during the meeting was not effective enough.

Poor communication at meetings can result in:

  • Confusion and misunderstanding of what was discussed.
  • A lack of clarity and direction about what to do after the meeting, including any follow up actions.
  • Disagreements which could negatively affect working relationships.
  • A feeling of frustration and time wasted.
  • The complete opposite of what was intended, i.e. reduced productivity.

However, making a conscious effort to focus on effective communication, both before and during meetings, is a key component of leading effective meetings. The resulting benefits include:

  • Increased understanding of the ideas and concepts discussed, thereby improving problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Alignment throughout the team is greatly enhanced. Everyone has a clearer idea of their expectations, goals, and strategies.
  • Open, transparent communication strengthens relationships, developing trust and rapport between everyone. Accountability increases, with actions completed to schedule.
  • Engagement between everyone grows. Collaboration, creativity, and innovation is a natural outcome.
  • All of which improves the efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity in your business.

With over 25 years’ experience of taking the minutes at many board meetings, here are several ideas we’ve learnt to ensure communication in your next meeting is effective, resulting in the outcomes you want…

9 Communication Tips for Effective Meetings

1. Preparation

Have clear goals for the meeting. Create an agenda along with any materials and information that are relevant to the topics to be discussed. If you are not clear about the meeting goals, is it a good use of everyone’s time?

2. Start positively

Leading an effective meeting includes starting it on a positive note. An example could be to acknowledge any actions and achievements, both from individuals and the team, following the previous meeting.

3. Get everyone involved

Actively encourage everyone to participate, especially the most junior or introverted attendees. Meetings should be a friendly, safe space to express all ideas, which encourages collaboration throughout the team.

4. Remain clear and concise

State your points clearly and stick to the agenda. Ensure meetings don’t overrun because of misunderstandings and going off on tangents.

5. Be visual

Use charts, graphs, or images to reinforce the main points, and especially if you’re discussing something technical or complex. Always remember that for many people, their predominant learning style is visually.  

6. Be active in listening and participation

Remain active during all discussions. Actively listen to what others are saying, ask follow-up questions, and never be afraid to seek clarification if necessary. There may be others in the meeting who also don’t understand something but are not confident enough to ask.

7. Summarise

Summarising the key points discussed, decisions taken, and actions agreed, ensures everyone leaves the room clear on the outcome of the meeting.

8. Follow up

Following the meeting, circulate a written summary, or the meeting minutes. Include the key points discussed, along with deadlines for any actions, and those who are responsible for the actions.

9. Feedback

Ask for honest feedback from attendees about the meeting, e.g. format, agenda, effectiveness etc. Encourage suggestions for improvements to future meetings.

In Summary

Effective communication is a key component in a successful meeting. Ignoring this can lead to the negative outcomes discussed earlier.

On the other hand, effective communication in meetings leads to effective meetings. This in turn has a positive impact on your team, following through on the agreed actions, and achieving your desired outcomes.

Allen Wooding

Allen Wooding, co-founder of award winning Virtual Assistant company Core PA Services, helps business owners focus 100% on their key revenue generating activities, by handling the routine business tasks that often overwhelm small businesses. If you’re drowning in admin and have no idea how to get this routine work done, download our free guide, “𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗧𝗮𝘀𝗸𝘀 𝗦𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗢𝘂𝘁𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹 𝗔𝘀𝘀𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝘁”. This includes our simple 5-step exercise to help you identify which tasks to outsource first.

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