Reject the Hype and Fix Your Bad Meetings

August 25, 2015 at 2:53 PM by Elise Keith in successful meetings

The Hype: Meetings Waste People’s Time and Money

Have you seen the studies about the state of meetings in the workplace today? If not, here’s a sampling:

  • A 2013 study estimated 11 million meetings occur in the USA each day and $37 billion is lost annually thanks to unproductive meetings.1
  • David Coleman more recently estimated this at 25 million meetings per day, with 25% of that time wasted.2
  • In 2013, employees chose “too many meetings” as the biggest distraction and waste of time presented by the workplace.3
  • A ResourcefulManager survey of 948 upper-level executives, directors, middle managers and frontline supervisors says nothing gets accomplished in 44.8% of the meetings executives and managers attend.4

The most popular article about this problem on social media today implores us to please strive for "Meetings that Don't Suck". Run a Google search for meetings that don't suck, and you'll see pages of articles on that theme.

Nowhere else in the business world do we see so much advocacy for such a pathetic goal.

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Topics: successful meetings

New: Rescue Your Meeting When the Audio Goes Bad

August 14, 2015 at 7:22 PM by Elise Keith in meeting technology, release announcement

Ever start up an online meeting and spend the first 5 minutes trying to get everyone on the call?

Ouch! Trying soo hard to hear...

Ever get part way through a meeting with terrible sound and realize your forehead may be permanently creased from all the squinting and frowning going on as you desperately try to make out what people say?

Ever set up a meeting with a new client, only to have them demand you use their favorite web conferencing service to run it instead of the one you’re used to?

Yes, of course you have.

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Topics: meeting technology, release announcement

3 Keys to the Best Virtual Team Meetings

August 12, 2015 at 11:32 AM by Brad Egeland in remote work, project management, client meetings

Meetings come 3 general forms:

  1. The traditional face-to-face meeting
  2. conference calls, and
  3. video conference calls

There are probably some variations you can think of on these three based on different technology, but this about covers it.

Now, consider you’re working with a remote team – you’re the project manager and your team is geographically dispersed so you’re never co-located…you may never be throughout the entire project engagement.

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Topics: remote work, project management, client meetings

How to Lead Introductions in Business Meetings

August 5, 2015 at 12:38 PM by Elise Keith in best practices, facilitation

Many years ago I was asked to represent my company on a national committee. I had to fly from Portland, Oregon to Washington D.C. for the meeting, find my way around the city wearing an actual business suit and heels, then walk into this room and make a good impression.

I was prepared for the content of the meeting - I knew my stuff - but I was far from comfortable. The 30 or so other members of the committee came from Microsoft, the Department of Defense, and a host of big organizations; I worked for a 20-person web software vendor no one had ever heard of. Most of the committee members were much older than I was, and there were very few women.

Soon enough, the gavel pounded and the chair began the meeting. After a brief greeting, he said:

“Go around the room and tell the group a bit about yourself, starting with Don here.”

Tell them about me? What am I supposed to say in this room of dour-looking, experienced people?

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Topics: best practices, facilitation

7 Super Cool Ways Lucid Makes Your Google Hangouts Better

July 24, 2015 at 4:31 PM by Elise Keith in meeting technology, release announcement

Most companies fall into one of two camps: those that use, understand, and embrace the Google way, and those that don’t. If your team uses Gmail and Google Calendar, it’s likely you also use Google Hangouts for your team meetings.

Hangouts has been one of our top-requested integrations, and now it’s here. Starting today, all Lucid Meetings account owners can select to add a Hangout to their Lucid meetings.

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Topics: meeting technology, release announcement

The Essential Project Kickoff Meeting Agenda

July 17, 2015 at 3:21 PM by Elise Keith in best practices, project management, client meetings

How we begin matters.

In the life of every project there is a time before, when the project exists as a possibility. From this possibility, we craft our intentions for the project. We envision what could be, and we fear what might happen. At some point, perhaps when a contract gets signed or a team comes together, the project transitions from a possibility to an inevitability.

We mark the project’s official beginning with a project kickoff meeting.

 

How we kick-off a project matters.

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Topics: best practices, project management, client meetings

5 Ways to Improve Employee Engagement in Meetings …and Why it Matters

July 14, 2015 at 7:35 PM by Paul Axtell in facilitation, successful meetings, teamwork

Early in my career, my supervisor did me a big favor, although it didn’t feel like it at the time.

Kurt put me on probation for not speaking during meetings. He stated it very simply—Paul, if you don’t speak, you don’t add value.

I had lots of ways to justify my lack of speaking: I was the newest member of the group, I didn’t have much experience, other people seemed to have more to say, I wasn’t sure I had anything of value to add, and, of course, the blockbuster of all: I was shy.

Fortunately, my supervisor wasn’t into explanations or excuses—just results. And suddenly not speaking wasn’t an option for me.

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Topics: facilitation, successful meetings, teamwork

Should you cancel your next meeting?

July 7, 2015 at 9:00 AM by Elise Keith in best practices, meeting scheduling

There’s a meeting on your calendar that’s fast approaching, but you’re just not sure about it. Maybe you’re too busy. Maybe you see it as an interruption that will keep you from more important work. Or maybe the meeting is really important, but you’re simply not ready. Whatever the reason, you now wonder, should you cancel your next meeting?

And if so, how can you do that without looking like a flake in front of the group?

John and I recently had a long conversation with David Coleman, Founder and Managing Director of Collaborative Strategies (CS). You can see excerpts from that talk in his post Stop Wasting Time: In Pursuit of the Perfect Meeting.

David conducted a lot of research on business meetings over the years – research that shows many of those meetings to be a big fat waste of time.

Related: The First Rule of Meet Club: Do we really need to meet?

So he asked us: "Are there situations where you don’t think we should meet at all?"

The answer is a resounding “Yes!

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Topics: best practices, meeting scheduling

5 Easy Tips to Make Your Online Sales Meetings Stand Out

July 2, 2015 at 5:29 PM by Holly Chessman in meeting technology

Who isn’t familiar with the deadly sales meeting where someone drones on, flipping through the 100-slide PowerPoint deck? This situation is even worse when you’re working online, presenting from a distance.

Your audience’s eyelids are drooping. They’re checking out cat memes. They no longer have any idea what’s being said. They just know that they long for escape.

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Topics: meeting technology

The Top 5 Best Alternatives to Join.me

June 30, 2015 at 6:09 PM by Tricia Harris in meeting technology

Web Meeting Services of Yesteryear

Ever since download-heavy web conferencing services like WebEx and GoToMeeting came on the scene, people have been searching for the best online meeting software to supersede them.

Join.me was created for simple screen sharing - the most used feature in WebEx and GoToMeeting - and it solved the problem of getting people into meetings easily with no downloads. 

However, easy by itself isn't always a solution. When people decided to switch, they lost a lot of useful functionality.

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Topics: meeting technology