Think Beyond the Big Box...

How to quickly organize for meetings

Meetings that are unstructured or poorly planned usually end up being a waste
of everybody’s time. Here’s how a little organization will ensure that your
meetings are well focused and productive.
Follow these three principles when preparing for your next meeting:
  1. Plan ahead.
  2. Be prepared.
  3. Control and capture.
You’ll feel more confident about your presentations and your ability to get
the results you want from all participants.
Use report covers with clear vinyl front to distribute meeting handouts.
PLAN AHEAD.
  • Productive meetings happen if you plan for their
    success. Make sure you have a clear objective and set a defined agenda. Allow
    enough time to reach the goal, and schedule the meeting time accordingly. If you
    want to keep it short, schedule it for late in the day.
  • Invite only the people who will contribute to the
    objective. Meetings of more than six people tend to get less accomplished.
  • Send invitations early and be clear about location,
    date, time and the objective of the meeting. Follow up with a reminder in a
    different format. If your invitation is sent via e-mail, follow up with a phone
    call.
BE PREPARED.
  • Make sure that everything will be ready at your
    meeting. Double check that your equipment, venue, handouts, refreshments, and
    presentations are lined up well in advance. Rehearse your presentation to smooth
    out any rough spots.
  • Use Report Covers with Clear Vinyl Front to hold
    meeting handouts. The clear front panel allows you to include a cover page, or
    make the meeting agenda easily visible. Fasteners in standard three-hole
    position let you bind in up to 1/2 inch of material.
  • If you want participants to be familiar with the
    material to be covered, send it out ahead of time. Include the agenda, list of
    participants and the date, time and location of the meeting.
CONTROL AND CAPTURE.
  • Begin on time and stick to the agenda. Allow attendees
    to contribute ideas, but don’t let the meeting get off track. Keep an eye on the
    clock to make sure the entire agenda gets covered in the time allowed.
  • Appoint a person to take notes during the meeting.
    Capture all ideas and issues that need further action. Consider recording long
    meetings with audio or video so that no important information is lost.
  • After the meeting, extract the most important points
    into a concise minutes document. Distribute the minutes to attendees,
    highlighting action items that require further activity.
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