CAM 003: How To Facilitate Awesome Meetings

Are you someone who has to run meetings but doesn’t know where to begin? Or are you someone who wishes they could run the meeting because the guy who is running the meeting is useless? Or maybe you’re just starting your meeting facilitation journey and you’re looking for ideas.

Well if any of these scenarios make sense to you, then you’re in the right place! Because episode 3 of the Create Awesome Meetings Podcast offers a step-by-step guide to help you run an outstanding meeting. Every time. And are the 15 steps:

  1. Figure out why you need to meet
    • Name your top three strategic objectives that make your organization profitable
    • Connect everything that you want to accomplish in the upcoming meeting to the top three strategic objectives
  2. Choose a great meeting location
    • Where you meet is as important as what you’re meeting about
    • Make sure the room is beyond clean, as in, make it a place that will energize your team to reach their goals
  3. Prepare
    • Do the right amount of research
    • Go above and beyond when you prepare the agenda
    • Give yourself some unstructured ‘blue sky’ time during which you can creatively prepare for the upcoming meeting
  4. Keep in touch with everyone leading up to the meeting
    • Have a hallway chat with your colleagues
    • Send a question via text
    • Use this process to weed out things you don’t want to talk about at your upcoming meeting
  5. Set up early
    • Arrive at least 30 minutes early to make sure all technical aspects are ready and that the room is set up to help you achieve your meeting goals
  6. Greet each person as they arrive
    • This is a great way to build rapport
    • You could ask them about their family or which sport they like to play
    • Or you could ask them about their latest work project
  7. If you are the meeting leader, have someone introduce you
    • People want to follow someone they trust and respect
    • Getting an introduction will allow the whole team to learn something about you from another person’s perspective
  8. When you introduce yourself, establish your credibility
    • Your meeting team wants to know that you have the skills to run a great meeting, so tell them a few select things that will give them the confidence that you can lead effectively
  9. Explain the agenda 
    • Start with an Attention-Grabber that is either funny, inspiring or serious
    • Give an overview of the meeting quickly so that people know what to expect
  10. Have each person introduce themselves an say why they’re here
    • Look each person in the eye, one-by-one, and ask them to say something about themselves and also to state why they are and how they will be contributing to make the meeting more effective
  11. Help people disagree productively
    • Productive debate is good. Unhealthy fights are bad
    • As a meeting facilitator you need to be able to referee disagreements effectively
    • Techniques may inlcude; one person speaks; and making the disagreement about the issue and not about the people
  12. Keep the energy up
    • Stand up during the meeting
    • Look at an inspring/funny Youtube video
    • Switch seats
    • Just make sure that you have a variety of options to keep people engaged during the meeting
  13. Summarize ideas frequently and praise people whenever possible
    • Actively listen, let the person who was talking to finish, then briefly repeat the main points of what they have said and ask the group if everyone agrees and that the point was clear
    • When someone makes a great point, say something positive out loud
  14. Call to action
    • At the end of the meeting have each person answer this question – “Given what we have discussed during the meeting today, say what you’re going to do and when you’re going to get it done.”
  15. Follow up
    • Treat each person in your meeting like they were your best customer by following up quickly and efficiently after each meeting

Remember not to be hard on yourself if you can’t do the steps all at once. Pick one or two to work on each week and within a few months you will easily be an expert at all of them! Not only will you and your meeting team benefit, but because your meetings will become more productive, then your organization will become more profitable overall.


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