5 Requirements For a Successful Meeting

5 Requirements For a Successful Meeting

Paul Sloane 22/03/2024
5 Requirements For a Successful Meeting

Some meetings serve simply to disseminate information.

One person gives a presentation, usually in Powerpoint, and others listen and absorb some of the content. In its method this meeting is really an extension of a school class or university lecture. We will not dwell on this.

Other meetings serve as discussions which are intended to lead to a decision. These are often badly run and fail because they lack one or more of these five key prerequisites which are necessary (but not sufficient) for success.

Here are 5 requirements for a successful meeting. 

Startup Meeting

1. Have a Clear Purpose

The purpose of the meeting should be crystal clear to all the participants. The person who called the meeting must articulate the reason for the meeting and the agenda. If this is not clear and people arrive with differing expectations and agendas, then the meeting will likely flounder. To ensure clarity and structure in your meetings, prepare detailed agenda slides that can provide a roadmap for the discussion, outlining the topics to be covered and the order in which they will be addressed. Platforms like SlidesCarnival offer a variety of agenda templates that you can utilize to create visually appealing and organized agendas for your meetings.

2. Ask for Permission & Listen Carefully 

The participants have an obligation to listen and to show respect but they also need to know that they have the permission to contribute, to ask questions, to challenge and to offer unorthodox ideas. If there is a hierarchy in the room which inhibits questions, unconventional ideas and challenges then a great opportunity for creativity and fresh thinking will be lost.

3. Find Comfortable Space 

An offsite room with plenty of space for breakouts and smaller groups can be highly beneficial.

4. Take Your Time To Discuss and Share Ideas

The length of the meeting should be advised in advance so that people know.  The meeting should be long enough to cover the issues, generate and select ideas, allow for discussion, decision and action plans.  But there needs to be some pressure on time – the meeting should not be so long that people are encouraged to mender and waffle.

5. Select the Right Facilitation To Encourage Open Conversations

The facilitator or chairperson should set a structure for the meeting and use some tools and techniques to encourage free discussion and ideas.  They should curtail premature criticism or domination by the most powerful voices.  They might use suitable problem analysis methods, brainstorming techniques and some group decision making.  They should strive to ensure that the meeting achieves it objectives by keeping to time and reaching a decision.

If you plan these five elements into your decision-making meetings then you will significantly increase the likelihood that the meeting will succeed.  What’s more the participants will feel empowered and decisive rather than ignored and frustrated.

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Paul Sloane

Innovation Expert

Paul is a professional keynote conference speaker and expert facilitator on innovation and lateral thinking. He helps companies improve idea generation and creative leadership. His workshops transform innovation leadership skills and generate great ideas for business issues. His recent clients include Airbus, Microsoft, Unilever, Nike, Novartis and Swarovski. He has published 30 books on lateral thinking puzzles, innovation, leadership and problem solving (with over 2 million copies sold). He also acts as link presenter at conferences and facilitator at high level meetings such as a corporate advisory board. He has acted as host or MC at Awards Dinners. Previously, he was CEO of Monactive, VP International of MathSoft and UK MD of Ashton-Tate. He recently launched a series of podcast interviews entitled Insights from Successful People.

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