Recently we gave a short webinar on the topic of How to Hold Shorter, More Productive Meetings.
If you weren't able to attend, I'm sure you'll be delighted to discover that the recording is available on YouTube (and embedded below, even!).
It's not too long, the advice is practical, and there are pictures! So check it out.
In the webinar, we gave 7 practical tips. At the end, I was asked how Lucid Meetings supported people trying to follow this excellent advice. After recovering from the shock that hit when I realized it was pretty silly that I hadn't thought to include that information in the webinar in the first place (hello! McFly!), I quickly ran through some of our great features.
And now that I've recovered from my earlier chagrin, I'd like to share those answers with you.
Using Lucid Meetings to practice the 7 steps for shorter, more productive meetings
1. Know the meeting goal and expected result
If you want a productive meeting, you need to know why it's been scheduled. If you want it to be shorter, you need to know how you can tell when you've achieved the result and the meeting should end.
The "knowing" part of this tip is up to you, of course. Lucid helps everyone invited share in this knowledge by:
- Asking meeting leaders to enter a meeting Goal
- Including a space to enter the Desired Outcome for every item on the agenda
2. Send out an agenda before the meeting
Agendas provided during a meeting don't help anyone prepare, and their extemporaneous nature makes it possible for these agendas to be dismissed by those who wish to take the conversation sideways.
Lucid helps groups prepare and share meeting agendas in advance by:
- Ensuring every meeting has an agenda
- Providing agenda templates that help people write the agenda
- Including the agenda in the invitation email
- Making the agenda available for export
3. Assign pre-meeting responsibilities
People who come to a meeting with progress to report and work to share are more invested in the meeting outcome, more engaged, and better focused, which - naturally! - keeps the discussion moving towards done.
Lucid Meetings helps you get people involved before the meeting by:
- Providing a collaborative online page for working on each meeting before it begins
- Assignment of agenda topics and action items to specific individuals, who can upload reports and update their information before the meeting
4. Start on time
Nothing kills momentum more than sitting around for 10 minutes waiting to get started. Starting on time sets a productive tone and shows respect for everyone's time.
Lucid helps groups start meetings on time by:
- Eliminating the need for software downloads. Our browser-based technology means anyone with an internet connection can join without having to download the latest version of jack squat.
- Built-in timers help everyone see when to start and when to move on.
- Building a "Welcome" time into the default meeting agenda, specifically dedicating a few short minutes to helping people settle into the online meeting.
5. Take notes as a team
Visible results are super important for productivity, and taking notes as a team is the most effective way to get them. I could go on, and have in the past: see 5 Reasons to Take Notes in Your Meetings.
Lucid makes this easy by providing an online collaborative Note Taking feature. Everyone participating can see the saved notes, which are associated with the current topic of discussion. Afterwards, we compile the notes into a cohesive meeting record you can distribute by email, download, and search through later.
6. Use progress checks to watch the clock
A progress check functions like your lap timer on a jog, telling you what you've accomplished and how many laps you have to go before you're done.
Lucid helps meeting leaders run progress checks by:
- Showing the time allocated for each topic and the total time remaining in the meeting
- Focusing on one topic at a time, with an intentional transition between each agenda item
- Providing webinars like this one that will teach you how to do a quick progress check!
7. Follow up
Our goal was a productive meeting, right? That implies that it produced something, which is a lot easier to see when there's follow up.
Lucid helps people follow up after their meetings by:
- Providing a one-click Send Follow Up Email function, which sends everyone a copy of the meeting record by email
- Specifically highlighting any action items assigned in the follow-up email
- Retaining all records in a central repository for future reference
- Making it easy to export records to a file of another system, such as a wiki or project management repository
In summary, to hold successful meetings, follow these seven great steps and use Lucid Meetings. It will rock your meeting world. Productively.