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How A Professional Meeting Facilitator Can Increase Your Profits

How A Professional Meeting Facilitator Can Increase Your Profits

Are Your Meetings A Waste Of Time?

Do you feel that your last meeting should have been an email? Do you find yourself discussing subjects that are not on the agenda (if you even have an agenda), like what brand of coffee to buy for the office kitchen, or the latest cat video on Youtube?

If your meetings lack focus, then the person running the meeting probably doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Perhaps this is because they never received proper training. Or maybe they just got promoted to ‘manager’, but just because they have the leadership title it doesn’t mean that they know how to run an efficient meeting.

And as you well know, if you don’t have a solid meeting facilitator, then your meetings will be a waste of precious time and money.

So how can you remedy this?

Get A Professional Meeting Facilitator

What does Professional mean?

A Professional Meeting Facilitator has the credentials, experience and confidence to make your meeting a success. The Professional Facilitator is not there to soothe wounded egos, or to solve your problems. He or she is there to ensure that your meeting is profitable, by giving you options to drive your meeting’s agenda forward, and ultimately to help you achieve your organizational objectives.

How Do You Know If You Need A Professional?

Simple. Give your meetings a quick rating out of /10, and then you’ll know.

For example, on a scale of 1-10, what number would you give to your meetings? A rating of 3/10 would mean that your meetings are a waste of time and that you should consider cancelling them (or bringing in a Professional Facilitator).

A rating of 7/10 would mean that your meetings are achieving what you want. And if you rate you meeting a 9/10 then you could probably sub-contract your meeting leader as a Professional Facilitator!

Why Hire A Professional Facilitator?

Objectivity

A Professional Facilitator is an outsider. They are not involved in the office dynamics that created inefficient meetings. They will see things with an unbiased view to help you get your meetings on track.

Time Management

The pace of business is too fast to allow for unproductive meetings, so hiring a Professional Meeting Facilitator will help you improve more quickly and save time.

Discretion

A Professional Facilitator knows the importance of client confidentiality, so when you work with them you know that your secrets will not be revealed.

Fun

They will bring high energy to your meetings and light up those dull participants who don’t talk much.

Strategy

A Professional Meeting Facilitator will ensure that every aspect of your meeting is connected directly to your organization strategy, and moving it forward.

What Are the Traits of A Professional Facilitator?

Firm and Enthusiastic

  • A Professional Facilitator is firm and fair
  • They will supportively say what needs to be said without worrying about bruising the egos in the room
  • They will also allow everyone to articulate their point of view no matter how unpopular that view might be
  • They will manage personalities. For example, if there is a someone who likes drone on and on, the facilitator will make them keep it short and focused
  • They will also encourage the quiet guy in the corner and help him feel comfortable enough to give his 2 cents

Big Picture Seer

The Professional Facilitator will connect all aspects of the meeting to the overall goals of the organization, which will allow you to consistently move your strategy forward.

Time Keeper

A Professional Meeting Facilitator will ensure that the meeting starts/ends on time and that people get to the point and use time wisely.

Humorous

By making a joke at the right time, or helping people to not be to serious, a Professional Facilitator can ensure that the meeting doesn’t end with a fistfight.

What Questions Should You Ask When Hiring A Professional?

  1. What is your approach?
  2. Tell me about your favourite facilitation engagement
  3. How do you separate issues from personalities?
  4. How will you deal with confidentiality?
  5. Are you willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement?
  6. Do you have service insurance?
  7. Can you provide references?
  8. Can you submit a proposal for the facilitation?
  9. Will you provide an engagement contract?

The Steps Involved When You Hire A Professional Facilitator

  1. Define the scope of the engagement as in:
    • What are the objectives to be achieved during the meeting?
    • What will the Professional Facilitator be responsible for?
  2. Agree on the costs and sign the contract
  3. Help the Professional Meeting Facilitator to thoroughly understand the meeting participants, and allow them to pre-interview meeting participants
  4. Help the Professional Meeting Facilitator get all necessary background on key issues
  5. Choosing the meeting location
  6. On the meeting day
  • Check that everything is in place including the furniture, audio and presentation systems.
  • Introduce the Professional Facilitator in an exciting way that immediately establishes their credibility
  • Establish ‘ground rules’ as in; what happens with cell phones during the meeting; what happens if there is a fight?

Download the FREE "How To Hire A Professional Meeting Facilitator Checklist √"

How A Professional Facilitator Helps You Win

  • They go with the flow and ensure that everyone is heard
  • They frequently summarize and capture key discussion points
  • They allow for cordial disagreements that are about issues and not about personalities
  • They keep the meeting fun and energetic by cracking the odd joke
  • At the end of the meeting they present a strong call-to-action and ask every participant to state out loud what he/she is going to do according to the conclusions of the meeting to create accountability

Cost Issues

Professional Facilitators often bill by the hour or by the project.

  • By the hour you can expect to pay $100/hr and up.
  • Per project charges are based on the scope of the project and prices will start around $1500 and go up from there depending on what’s involved

Do You Need To Hire A Professional Meeting Facilitator?

You can assess the need for hiring a Professional Facilitator by looking at the opportunity costs with questions like:

  • What will our meetings continue to be like if we do not engage a Professional Facilitator?
  • How much better will the meetings be with a Professional Facilitator?

And in the end, hiring a Professional Meeting Facilitator is a long-term investment in your organization’s overall profitability. It will also grow your MROI (Meeting-Return-On-Investment).

Download the FREE "How To Hire A Professional Meeting Facilitator Checklist √"

You Can Choose How You Act During A Meeting!

You Can Choose How You Act During A Meeting!

Lead By Example!

Whether you’re a leader or a follower, you can choose how you act during a meeting. And here are a few simple tips to help you do this:

  • Take responsibility for yourself
  • Put away your cellphone
  • Be a phenomenal listener
  • Rehearse what you’re going to say before you get to the meeting
  • Be concise when it’s your turn to speak
  • Lead by example and inspire the whole meeting team!

Want more great meeting productivity improvement tips?

Listen to the Create Awesome Meetings Podcast where you’ll get:

  • Practical tips that you can use today to improve your meetings
  • Real meeting stories from experts, as well as how they solved the problems
  • Free downloads
  • Inspiration that will help you make your next meeting fantastic!

Download the quote and share it with your team!

 

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3 New Ways To Create Awesome Meetings Today!

3 New Ways To Create Awesome Meetings Today!

Love them or hate them we all have go to meetings. Everyday. At work. At home. At the Dentist. Pretty much everywhere we go. So, here are 3 new ways to createe awesome meeting today!

So with all the hours we spend in meetings we should be productivity All-Stars. Right?

According to FreshTracks here are “Ten Reasons Why Meetings Fail”

Read More

Prosci Change Management – Certifiably Worthwhile!

Prosci Change Management – Certifiably Worthwhile!

As I continue to gain ‘quals’ (qualifications) as a Professional Meeting Facilitator and Consultant I sometimes wonder if I’m not certifiable myself – as in certifiably insane for spending time and money to re-learn the same best practices under newly packaged names. So before I enrolled in the

So before I enrolled in the 3-Day Prosci Change Management Certification Program, I was honestly suspicious. Why have a separate approach for the people side of a project?

Isn’t change the natural state of being in business these days? So any decent leader who can execute his organization’s strategy should have the people side of things covered. Right?

Read More

How Emerging Health Leaders Make Edmonton Awesome!

How Emerging Health Leaders Make Edmonton Awesome!

Why I Support Emerging Health Leaders Edmonton

 

When my colleagues Kim Poong and Karmin Hovde asked me to be a Speaker at the Emerging Health Leaders Edmonton (EHLE) PechaKucha Night, guess how long it took me to say yes? Less than a second! And please let me tell you why.

Kim and Karmin are super smart, competent, accomplished leaders who I got to know when I did my MBA at the University of Alberta School of Business. And I knew that if they had chosen to be a part of the Emerging Health Leaders Edmonton group that all of the other participants would be cut from the same high-calibre cloth. And that is exactly what I discovered when I got to attend and speak at their 1st PechaKucha event.

Another great reason to support EHLE is because of their vision, which is to:

Inspire growth and leadership with a lasting impact on the ever-dynamic field of health within the Edmonton community.

With those two major factors in mind I knew it was going to be a great night.

What I Experienced At The EHLE PechaKucha Night

According to PechaKucha.org, “PechaKucha 20×20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images.” That’s 6 minutes and :40 seconds of your life that you’re never going to get back, whether you’re giving the talk or you’re in the audience. And as a Speaker I can tell you that this format is very challenging because you have to be succinct and well prepared. Thankfully, all of the Speakers knocked it out of the park that night. Check out this awesome line up that the EHLE organizers put together.

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Marni Panas shared her triumphant personal story about the the ups and downs of being authentic with her talk called “Live Your Truth And Turn Barriers Into Opportunity”

Chris Tse taught us all how to “Build A Health Movement One Tribe At A Time.”

David Pincock blew our minds as he introduced us into the world of Clinical Informatics in his talk called “Clinicians Tinkering With Computers”

Pamela Spurvey shared her very real story about “The Value In ‘Been there, done that” (you can learn more about Pamela in this great article titled “What Success Looks Like” in WE Magazine by the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region)

Marc Yu brought down the house with laughter as he explained “What Taylor Swift Can Teach Us About The Intersection Of Law, Medicine And Professionalism”

And finally Marlies van Dijk boldly showed us the new reality of change management with her talk called “Heart, Mind & Bravery”

And I can honestly say that I did not expect to be so inspired! But all of these high-impact Speakers made me laugh and gain new perspectives, and for that I am really glad I was there.

10 Ways To Create Awesome Meetings

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I also enjoyed Speaking at the event. My talk was called “10 Ways To Create Awesome Meetings.” It is based on the following checklist:

  1. Get Real With Yourself
  2. Get Real With Your Team
  3. Know Your Total Meeting Cost $
  4. Get A Great Facilitator
  5. Link The Meeting To Your Strategy
  6. Create A Blockbuster A-G-E-N-D-A
  7. Meet In The Right Space
  8. Get Awesome Resources
  9. Follow-Up F-A-S-T
  10. Take Action!

Here is a full audio recording of my presentation if you’d like to listen to it, and if you’d like to receive a more detailed version of the checklist, please enter your name and email below.

 

Why You Should Attend The Next EHLE Event

 

If you are a seasoned and emerging leader. Or maybe you want to be inspired. Or maybe you’d simply like to meet some of the most effective people in Edmonton, then I would suggest that you attend the next event that Emerging Health Leaders Edmonton puts on (here’s the events link so you can check it out – http://emerginghealthleaders.ca/edmonton/events/). And here are a few examples of some of the great events they have already put on this year!

  • An evening with Helen Bevan – Chief Transformation Officer, National Health Services (NHS)
  • A PechaKucha Speakers night that was unforgettable
  • Socials – for example in September they held a ‘Mini-Olympics consisting of virtual golf, Sega Super GT: Auto Racing, Pro Putt and 3-ball pool.’

So not only are the Emerging Health Leaders in Edmonton smart, but they also like to have a lot of fun!

Changing The World, One Meeting At A Time

And with the same passion that EHLE is committed to inspiring growth and leadership, I am dedicated to ‘changing the world, one meeting at time.’ So at the end of my PechaKucha talk I asked this group of professionals to make a commitment and here’s what happened.

Why I Create Awesome Meetings

Why I Create Awesome Meetings

Why I Create Awesome Meetings is rather simple, I enjoy helping people, businesses, and organizations of any kind better their futures.

My name is Gord Sheppard and I love meetings.

I say that honestly because I work as a Professional Meeting Facilitator and Consultant, and every time I run a meeting it goes well.

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How To Become An Awesome Meeting Facilitator

How To Become An Awesome Meeting Facilitator

How much will your next meeting cost? $1,000/hour? $5,000/hour? Does your current meeting facilitator or leader help your company make more money by effectively facilitating profitable meetings? Or do they have a style that kills productivity and morale?

When I work as a Professional Meeting Facilitator I turn mediocre meetings into energized, focused and profitable experiences for everyone involved. So in order to pass along everything I know about how to facilitate an awesome meeting, I have put together the following list of suggestions.

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How To Create Awesome Non-Profit Board Meetings

How To Create Awesome Non-Profit Board Meetings

Well, fear not, because whether you’re a volunteer, Executive Director, or the guy who brings the muffins, this article is your guide on ‘How To Create Awesome Non-Profit Board Meetings.” These tips are based on my own experience working as a Professional Meeting Facilitator.

What does the phrase “non-profit board meeting” make you want to do?

Read More