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How to run effective meetings

Meetings can be useful, innovative and constructive – a great use of everyone’s time. However, they can also be quite the opposite. Recent research established that ineffective meetings waste an estimated £29 billion a year. Not only that but it’s become accepted that meetings are often a waste of time, even for those who wouldn’t dream of being inefficient with their working hours in any other way. Being able to run effective meetings not only ensures positive use of resources within the business but also marks an employee out as someone with useful skills. So, how do you do it?

When is a meeting not a meeting?

When it’s a presentation, an update or an assessment. When you’re setting up a meeting in the first place, make sure that you’ve given it the right description. Then, trim the guest list to ensure that those who you’ve invited to attend really do actually need to be there.

Prepare for the meeting in advance

Create an agenda and make sure that everyone gets a copy of it beforehand – this not only ensures others will be prepared but will also highlight if the meeting is actually necessary. 40% of meetings start late so be clear about the need for attendees to be punctual. It might be useful to assign roles to people for the meeting before it starts and to schedule a check in with those in the room every 10-15 minutes to ensure everyone is still engaged and participating.

Encourage active listening

The more engaged participants are with the meeting the more effective and useful it will be. This requires active listening, which you can encourage in a number of different ways:

  • Create the right environment. Comfortable (but not too comfortable chairs), effective lighting and food and drink can all be useful
  • Start the meeting with an engagement exercise e.g. an icebreaker
  • Ban tech. Make sure that everyone in the room is focused on what’s happening in the present, not on their phones
  • Schedule the meeting for the right time – avoid the afternoon slump, first thing in the morning or right at the end of the day

Nurture more participation

If meetings are just one or two people speaking they can quickly become ineffective. You can nurture participation by making attendees feel that they are encouraged to speak and contribute and by creating an open forum for discussion. It might also be useful to break the meeting down into chunks, each of which is led by a different person – or to have break out sessions within it where attendees work in small groups.

Sum up and create next steps

When participants leave the meeting room they should have a good sense of what just took place – and what is required next. Sum up at the end of the meeting, assign action points and think about whether it might be useful to circulate minutes for reflection after the meeting.

A well run meeting can deliver a wealth of benefits to business and make you a very valuable employee – it’s a skill that is well worth nurturing.

In-House Training with PTP

PTP stands for Practical Training for Professionals and our aim is to make our training as practical as possible so delegates can return to the workplace with skills they can implement immediately. PTP now delivers training to over 40% of the FTSE 100.

What you get for your money

What is 1-to-1 training?

1-to-1 training can be based on any of the 100 plus courses that PTP provides, it includes an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site one to one training session at your premises with one of PTP's expert trainers and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

You have the option of a line manager being involved in both telephone conferences, the second telephone conference which can be for feedback and action planning is generally scheduled during the on-site visit.

Who does 1-to-1 training suit?

Individuals taking on a new challenge or responsibilities. Professionals who want a trusted "sounding board" and thinking partner. Executives or managers who want to enhance their leadership effectiveness to achieve organizational and career success. Executives and professionals wanting to compete successfully but still retain balance in their life. Individuals who want to understand their blind spots so that they don't stand in their own way on their path to success. Executives and Professionals who want to improve their interpersonal skills so as to be more effective with bosses, peers, subordinates, or people in general. How much does 1-to-1 training cost?

A 1-to-1 training session costs from as little as £400 + VAT and will include an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site training at your premises and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

What is U-Choose?

Choose from any of the 150 plus courses that PTP provides, and choose from 1 of our 50 plus UK wide training venues. You must book for 2 or more delegates and at least 4 weeks in advance, but that’s it, the course you want where you want it. The reason we ask for a minimum of 4 weeks notice is to enable us to market the course you have scheduled to other companies and organisations. However, if we fail to sell any additional places we guarantee to run the course just for you.

How much does U-Choose Training cost?

U-choose costs the same as our normal open courses i.e. the normal delegate rate. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day, framed certification and comprehensive training notes. A U-Choose booking can only be confirmed once we receive payment which can be made via credit/debit card, BACS or cheque. Payment is due at least 4 weeks before the date you request. Please note to be eligible for U-Choose you must book a minimum of 2 delegates on the same course & date.