How to Avoid Meetings that Suck by dailyidea
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How do businesses solve most problems? With meetings. Meetings are a necessary part of everyone’s business day. Make your meetings more effective by following some simple guidelines. Everyone will thank you for freeing up a portion of their day.
Thanks to one of our viewers, James Heires for submitting this idea! Now you can also read the full transcript of our shows, by reading the full post.
Hi, I’m Nikki Key and you’re watching The Daily Idea.
“If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’”
While that quote is from humorist Dave Barry, there’s a lot of truth behind it. We all know what it’s like to be in meetings all day only to go home feeling like you didn’t get anything done.
Well the behavioral research team here at The Daily Idea thinks it may not be the meetings that are the problem, but how the meetings are run. Of course, they needed a two hour meeting to come up with that, but that’s beside the point.
Fortunately for them, an alert viewer sent in a suggestion for a Daily Idea. James Heires, a professional meeting planner, says our researchers are on the right track. Here are his tips on how to run an effective meeting, with visual reenactment provided by … well, three guys we bribed with free chalupas.
First, have a meeting purpose or objective.
FALLS: Okay, I thought we’d get together and just see where everyone is.
TODD: (pauses, acts like the manager is nuts) The conference room?
CHAD: (half asleep, perhaps drunk) The Bahamas.
The second tip is to have an agenda and stick to it.
FALLS: And as you can see from the numbers before you, the quarterly report is not going to look good.
TODD: Sir, this is Rob’s birthday thing.
The third tip is to establish time limits for each topic.
FALLS: Now, moving on to point 23b, you can see from the bar graph that the inflationary precautions we predicted in quarter one
(WORKERS STARE IN A HAZE)
Tip number four is to ensure all participants participate, especially when it’s a conference call.
SPEAKERPHONE: And that’s what we’ve got from the west coast. Anyone there have any questions?
FALLS: Sounds good to me, Todd?
TODD: Nope, I’m good. Chad?
CHAD: That covers it for me, too. Rob?
(ROB IS ASLEEP WITH HIS HEAD ON THE TABLE. MANAGER SLAMS A PHONE BOOK DOWN BY HIS HEAD)
ROB: I’m good.
Tip number five is to start and end on time.
FALLS: And that takes care of it. (LOOKS AT WATCH) Okay. That’s 12 minutes early. Anybody wanna Wii?
(EVERYONE BANGS INTO EACH OTHER RUNNING OUT THE DOOR)
The sixth tip is to publish and distribute the minutes of all major decisions, progress or action items.
ROB: Here’s the meeting minutes from yesterday Todd.
TODD: Oh thanks, Rob.
(TODD WAITS UNTIL SHE’S GONE, THEN PUTS THEM IN THE TRASH).
Perhaps the best suggestion James offered is the last one: Don’t have a meeting at all if it’s not needed! Start preparing your topic and agenda before hand. If all the information can be shared via email, hit send and save everyone some valuable time.
CONFERENCE ROOM EMPTY EXECPT FOR ONE GEEKY GUY CHECKING HIS WATCH.
ROB: Hey Chad. The meeting was cancelled. Didn’t you get Todd’s email?
CHAD: Oh … no. IT’s had my computer all day. Something about Ham … Lamb … Spam … something.
Now, we’ve taken James’s suggestions and had a little fun with them, but professional meeting planners everywhere will tell you, he’s spot on.
And just like James, you too can send in your suggestion for a show topic. Just go to DailyIdea-dot-T-V and click on the “Suggest An Idea” link at the top of the page.
Thanks, James! Now, if you’ll excuse me … I’ve got to run to a meeting.
And that’s another Daily Idea.
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