Back to the Basics – How to Hold a Productive Meeting
We’ve all been in them, the never ending meeting that seems to have no clear goal; or perhaps the whole company is there with no clear roles defined. To save your sanity and conserve valuable time, an Account Executive needs to know how to lead a productive meeting. This may seem like basic, but throw in clients who have a tendency to highjack a meeting or the small-talker and this can sometimes be easier said than done. So to bring you back to the basics, below is a list of six tips to keep in your back pocket that will help you to lead a more productive meeting from start to finish:
- Determine those that need to attend – Select attendees who will contribute insight or need to know the content or outcome. Do not be afraid that others will feel excluded. They will be happy that you respect their time.
- Prepare an agenda – Clearly list all items that need to be discussed. This will ensure nothing is forgotten and that the discussion is kept on-track.
- Clearly state the goal of the meeting at the beginning – This will remind everyone what the purpose of the meeting is and what should be achieved when it is completed.
- Be organized – Bring all materials that you may need to reference during the meeting. Arrive early to set-up any materials or equipment that you will need during the meeting.
- Determine the pace of the meeting – Depending on the amount of time allotted for the meeting and the number of items to cover, you may need to control how much time is spent on each item to ensure everything is covered. If this becomes a challenge you may want to set time frames to each agenda item, giving you the opportunity to ask everyone to move on if too much unnecessary time is spent on one in particular.
- Summarize important items in a conference report – Once the meeting is completed, send a summary of key points, dates, and next steps to all attendees. This will serve as a to-do list for those who have action items and meeting notes to reference at a later date.
Meetings are an important part of what an Account Executive does and using them productively will not only help you manage your time better, but will also showcase your management abilities, giving your clients increased confidence in your ability to run their account.