Running Meetings

Group meetings can be fun, efficient, and interesting, or they can be something your members dread attending. Below are some tips for making the most of your meetings:

  • Before the meeting: work with your officers to create an agenda for the meeting. Why are you calling the meeting? What do you need to get done? What needs to be discussed? Prioritize the items on the agenda from most important to least.
  • Distribute your agenda a few days before the meeting so your members have time to read it, along with any additional materials you may want them to look at. If you do not have an established meeting time and place, make sure to let everyone know in this email when and where you will be convening.
  • Make sure your meeting space is large enough to accommodate all your members, and that the space is accessible to anyone who might like to attend.
  • Welcome people when they come in! Especially in your first few meetings, a warm smile will go a long way to making people feel comfortable with attending.
  • Serve some food, and allow people time at the beginning and end of the meeting to help themselves.
  • Start on time! It’s unfair to the people who showed up when they were supposed to, and it’s just as important not to waste their time. You also want to end on time, for the same reasons.
  • Stick to your agenda when the meeting starts, the attention of the group is most focused at the beginning. Once everyone is settled in, tackle your most pressing issues first.
  • Stay on target. Sidebars can be fun when they happen, however a meeting – especially a very large one, is not the place for them and if you get distracted so will everyone else.
  • Rather than dictating the meeting to a listening audience, encourage group discussion. You will have a higher rate of engagement!
  • Always keep minutes, and distribute them to your members via email after the meeting. When you end the meeting, remind them when the next one will be.
  • End on a positive note!
  • After the meeting, have a quick recap with your officers. If you noticed areas of tension or anything that could be improved, discuss solutions with your team. If there was anything unresolved from this meeting make sure it goes first on the agenda for next time.