How to Run a Successful Business Meeting

Published Thursday, March 18, 2010 8:36 AM

Conducted face-to-face or in a virtual space, as a two-person exchange or at an annual gathering of two thousand, meetings are essential to business life.

Running a successful business meeting is part art and part science. Even if you are a natural leader, you might find this a tough mix to master. Here are some resources to help you.

At Forbes.com, Dr. Nadine Katz shares the results of a study she conducted on making meetings more efficient. Her top finding? There is no substitute for preparation, which includes:

  • Sending participants a detailed meeting agenda in advance
  • Touching base with participants to highlight important talk points
  • Surveying the meeting space to assess factors like lighting and temperature
  • Establishing clear rules for dealing with lateness, rudeness or similar disruptions

A BusinessWeek article on How to Run a Meeting Like Google echoes Dr. Katz's insights and adds that assigning an official note taker and sticking to the clock helps curb meeting, and post-meeting, chaos. Rounding out the advice, a piece from WomenEntrepreneur encourages meeting leaders to:

  • Have an emotional goal going in
  • Live the tone you want to set
  • Facilitate, don't dominate
  • Read the room

If you are running your meeting via the Web, Mashable has 5 important tips for your success. Last, but not least, proving that even the biggest business meetings benefit from a healthy dose of lightness and humor, here is a Wall Street Journal post featuring a video clip from Southwest Airlines' 2009 annual meeting.

by Bradley Eggers

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Comments

# CandieHarris said on Friday, March 19, 2010 6:03 PM

Great tips! Since so many of us spend so much time in meetings, it is important to make sure we are maximizing their effectiveness. When I lead a meeting, I always try to be respectful of others time. Starting on time, and sticking to the agenda helps!

# H.S. said on Friday, April 16, 2010 4:58 PM

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# Community Manager said on Friday, April 16, 2010 6:02 PM

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