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How to Open a Meeting


Introduction

Opinions on meetings divide the business community. There are those who think that face-to-face meetings during office time are a waste of man-hours and there are those who believe that employees talking to each other across a table is the most efficient way to get things done and for employees to collaborate, contribute ideas, and work together.

If you have been tasked with chairing or running a meeting, it might seem daunting at first - what kind of approach can you take? How can you ensure you don’t waste anyone’s time?

Firstly, if you are calling a meeting, make sure to give people as much notice as possible. When people know about things in advance, they can schedule around it.

Secondly, be clear about the aim of the meeting and what you hope to achieve. The usual way of doing this is to have a clear agenda.

Set the Tone of the Meeting

At the beginning of the meeting, it can be useful to remind those attending of the goals; and to set the tone.

For example, if you want your attendees to be motivated, you might try to have the meeting somewhere it is possible to stand - sitting down decreases energy and urgency - or arranging an activity where they need to move.

To remind people of the purpose of the meeting you might use phrases such as:

The reason we are here today is to discuss…

We have half an hour to decide…

Our goal today is to…

The outcome of this meeting will be…

We need to work together to…


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