Tips on Arranging the Perfect Business Meeting


Meetings are a fundamental feature of everyday business life. The underlying concept of a business meeting couldn't be simpler: gather several relevant people in a room to discuss one or more current issues and decide an appropriate course of action to address each of those issues. Why, then, do so many business meetings fail to achieve anything or simply decline into disordered chaos?


Every leader, sales or business manager who is called upon to arrange or chair meetings will benefit from Maguire Training's informative business skills training course Making Meetings Work. This comprehensive course equips delegates with the skills and knowledge they need to plan, prepare for, run and follow up successful and productive business meetings.


Proper preparation and communication contributes significantly to the running of a successful business meeting, and here the expert team at Maguire Training shares a few of its tips on arranging the perfect business meeting.


1. Insist on a punctual start to the meeting
If the meeting invitation states a 10 o'clock start then insist on a 10 o'clock start. Idle chit-chat as refreshments are collected and late arrivals can seriously undermine a meeting's chances of success; it's up to the Chair to impose discipline and a timely start.


2. Serve refreshments but serve them pre-meeting
Tea, coffee and biscuits served prior to a meeting's commencement help to relax attendees and put them in the right frame of mind for participating in the subsequent meeting. Attendees should be made aware that refreshments will be served at least ten minutes before the scheduled meeting rime so as to avoid a delayed start.


3. Reinforce key information at the very start of the meeting
To avoid confusion and/or loss of focus, the Chair should state clearly what kind of meeting this is, its purpose and objectives and why the particular attendees have been chosen to participate.


4. Ensure that every attendee is aware of, and obeys, meeting rules
Once the type and purpose of the meeting has been established it is time to set out rules such as ensuring attendees turn off mobile phones and other devices, re-iterating start, end and (if applicable) break times, not talking or interrupting when someone else is speaking and so on.


5. Actively gain every attendee?s participation from the start
Meeting attendees should have been chosen in accordance with the value they can add to proceedings, but some may be more reticent to get involved than others. This can be overcome by throwing an open or hypothetical question to the table - e.g. 'what do you think would we would need to do in order for our company to be the market leader in five years' time?' and inviting everyone to contribute their own response.


6. Maintain engagement by sticking to the point
If a meeting wanders too far off-topic some members will become disinterested and withdraw from the proceedings. Dismiss topics that are irrelevant and maintain focus by developing contributions that are relevant to the meeting's objectives by throwing them open to each attendee for analysis and comment.


Arranging and running successful business meetings is virtually an art, and the ability to achieve this effectively is an invaluable feather in the cap of a leader or manager. The best way to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to host perfect business meetings every time is to obtain formal training. Making Meetings Work from Maguire Training is a must-attend course for anyone involved with the setting up of business meetings and is helpfully provided as both a class-room based module and an online training course accessed through Maguire Training?s own innovative E-learning system.

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