North Dakota State Soil Conservation


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Effective Meeting Management

Organizing Your Group Meeting tips to consider:

  1. Schedule meetings only when necessary. Do you need to meet every month? Or week? Or day? Are there other ways to meet such as via videoconference or phone conference call? Can people provide written updates instead of sitting down at a meeting face-to-face?
  2. Reduce the frequency of update-type meetings. Consider other ways to communicate appropriate updates.
  3. Have a clear purpose for meeting and create an agenda. Send out the agenda in advance to participants.
  4. Get organized and prepare thoroughly. Insure that participants are prepared for the meeting as well. Use basic parliamentary procedure rules to be most effective.
  5. Review the agenda with the group before starting the meeting. Watch the clock. Stick to the allotted time. Remain on schedule. Have a specific start and end time as it will enhance the reputation of an organized leader as well as make participants want to return.
  6. Encourage participation from the group. Techniques for this should be a part of your pre-planning efforts.
  7. Stay on topic. Use a parking-lot to manage discussions that get off topic.
  8. Request a call to action by members if needed.
  9. Provide an overview of what was decided before the meeting concludes.
  10. Follow up with an overview of written minutes to remind the group what was discussed and decided. This also helps those not in attendance understand what was discussed.

Top 10 Meeting Problems

  1. Getting off subject, rambling, repetition
  2. Inconclusive, no results or follow-up
  3. No purpose, goals or agenda
  4. Meetings are too long
  5. Disorganized leadership with lack of control
  6. Starts late, people are tardy, time is wasted
  7. Poor preparation by leaders and participants
  8. Information overload: unfocused, irrelevant
  9. Individuals monopolize discussion
  10. Interruptions

Report Alternatives

  • Limit the time spent on reports and stick to the limits
  • Decision making should get the majority of the meeting time – information sharing can come at the end of the agenda
  • Send out information prior to the meeting for the group to look at
  • Designate 5% of meeting time for reports
  • Ask members to give reports in the form of a tweet (140 characters)
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