Why meetings could destroy business

30 Nov, 2017

Meetings are unavoidable in business – whether to present to clients or internal discussions with your staff. So how do you effectively use meeting time?

Let’s start by looking at the main problem with meetings: they’re is resource intensive.

Meetings take up a lot of time, which translates to costs to your company. Think about the time spent preparing and travelling. That’s before the meeting even starts.

In addition, some meetings are completely unnecessary, and could be dealt with over email or a telephone call.

Discussions can frequently hijack time as well. Often these trail off to some similar topic that doesn’t relate to the objective of the meeting. Other times things that have already been said are repeated several times. This can be a by-product of the meeting itself.

People’s minds tend to wander during long discussions, and they may give in to the temptation of checking their emails, preventing them from being fully present for the meeting.

Here are some tools that can reduce unproductive meetings:

  • Broadband fibre that provides reliable high speed, high capacity internet connectivity is a must. Affordable options will help ensure that your business is future proof.
  • Video conferencing platforms allow participants to use a mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer. Meetings can be accessed through a simple click-to-connect link that’s unique to your meeting. Quality video is provided through a managed low bandwidth connection. This minimises data costs for mobile users, and travel time.
  • Interactive whiteboards are perfect for those meetings where information is analysed and modified during the discussion. This dynamic form of presentation will ensure meeting participants are more engaged, and result in productive use of meeting time, with actionable insights.

Here are some tips to more effective business discussions:

  1. Be prepared – Ensure that all participants are aware of the objective of the meeting beforehand and can prepare sufficiently. A short message about the topic and desired outcome when the meeting invite is sent is the first step. Follow this up with a summary of the major discussion points you’d like to cover in the meeting.
  2. Be exclusive – With the possible exception of creative brainstorms where more minds can spark exceptional ideas, invite only the people who are absolutely essential.
  3. Have an engaging presentation – Visuals are a great tool to support information, so include as many as you can to keep everyone engaged, and avoid simply reading what is on the presentation. But outdated formats like PowerPoint usually results in the presenter simply reading from the slides.
  4. Unplug – Unless you’re using your laptop or tablet during a presentation, turn it off. This will minimise disruptions and repetition.
  5. Use technology smartly – Telecoms may be an easy way to avoid an hour-long commute for a 30-minute discussion. But often people tend to tune out if they can’t hear or decipher what the person on the other end is saying.

If you’re ready to step up your meeting game, click here for an assessment and recommendation from Nashua. It’s totally free and there are no strings attached.