Meet-e-Ator: The Bookey Guide to more productive meetings

We love three hour meetings! The thoughtful back stories, the rumbling tummy, that feeling at the end of the day that you got nothing accomplished, but you sure discussed the heck out of it.

With countless meeting hours under our belts, The Bookey Group has developed an assertive method for keeping meeting times to one hour, upping your productivity time, and getting things done.

1.) Build in five minutes at the beginning for late arrivals.
While some people live and die by their Outlook calendars, traffic, delays and slow coffee drive thru’s do happen. So, even though you’ve scheduled the meeting to start at 10am, don’t plan on diving into to project-specific details until at least 10:05. Use that five minutes to implement bonus tip below and get people comfortable.

2.) What’s your agenda?
Just like a shopping list, an agenda will keep you on task and prevent wandering discussions. An agenda will also eliminate time going through back emails, trying to remember what needs to be on the table, and eliminates unnecessary topics from being placed on the table in the first place (“Sorry, that’s not the agenda for today’s meeting but I’d be happy to discuss that with you later.”)

Make meetings rock.

Make meetings rock.

3.) Cut the chatter.
We all do it – elaborate, give examples, testimonials, personal backstories. And while all that can add some color and personality to a meeting, it also prevents the team from having adequate discussion and getting the information needed to move forward.

During the meeting, jot down your thoughts and personal stories.

At the end of the meeting – after it’s formally been adjourned by the personal who called the meeting – you can say your thoughts or consolidate them and send them in a THANK YOU FOR THE MEETING email. And be sure to designate one person as facilitator or timekeeper with the responsibility for reminding people to stay on track.

4.) Summarize.
At the end of the meeting, the person who called the meeting should summarize what’s been discussed, ID their take-aways and action items and then go around the table and say the next steps for everyone else. It’s a good reinforcement tools, keeps everyone accountable (because now they said they were going to do it in front of 12 witnesses.)

5.) Schedule the next meeting while still in the meeting.
Building on that accountability, before the meeting is adjourned, look at your schedules and set deadlines. This will put clear expectations out there to your team and allow them to budget their time accordingly.

BONUS TIP: Bring snacks.
Even if it’s just bottles of water or a fruit platter, everyone shows up for free food. Plus if they know they’ll be fed, they’ll skip the slow drive through and show up on time.

georgie_hockett_headshot3Georgie Hockett, is VP of Creative Services, and a partner, at The Bookey Group, offering a trifecta offering of  1) sales enablement , 2) elevated by innovative creative and 3) targeted sales leads and network connections. Talk to Georgie now.