Meetings can be a time ripe for distractions. It’s easy to go on tangents if you’re not carefully prepared for meetings. Here are some tips for staying focused:
1. Keep an agenda to follow
With several topics to cover at a meeting it is important to stay on task. Creating a meeting agenda for yourself will allow you to touch upon goals, improvements, and any thoughts and concerns that need addressing. Researching agenda examples will assist in creating a list that suits your meeting style and will guarantee that you don’t leave any important points out.
2. Arrive a few minutes early to recollect
Running a meeting can provide great leadership skills but rushing to put an agenda together can make things overwhelming. By arriving a few minutes early, you will be sure to collect your thoughts and review exactly what you would like to go over. Arriving a few minutes early will also allow you to do a little reconnaissance of the space. Where should you stand? Is there a good area for the projector? Remember that arriving a few minutes early will prevent any rushing when it’s go time!
3. Bring materials others can follow along to
For effective meetings, organization and preparation are key. Send out an agenda to the meeting participants ahead of time to make your meeting purpose clear. This will also allow you to follow along while making sure others are staying on task as well.
4. Send out a follow up email with the meeting’s minutes
Sending out a follow up email will not only show that you are on top of things but will serve as a reminder and a tool for others. You can search a meeting agenda template to view simple formats for sending out meeting minutes. This email should be detailed yet easy to read. Be sure to write the minutes as soon as the meeting is finished while the details of the meeting are still fresh in your head. Including main points and clarifying any questions that were asked will assist staying on task at future meetings.
5. Self-reflect on what you can improve next meeting
Was there a topic you realized you should have clarified more? Self-reflecting afterwards will be beneficial for growing and perfecting your skills. Now that you have stayed on task you will know exactly what to improve on next time!
Staying on task during a meeting is certainly not easy, and organization and preparation indeed play a key role. What are some other ways you stayed on task during a meeting? Share your story on UltiCareer and help students and others learn what your type of job is really like!
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