last minute meeting

How To Have A Productive Last Minute Meeting

Have you ever fallen asleep during a work meeting?

Well, it’s not necessarily your fault. On average, people attend roughly 62 work meetings every month, and half of those meetings do nothing but waste time. That means you spend 31 hours every month wasting time in useless meetings.

A lot of people don’t actually know how to run a productive meeting. Gathering random employees together for 30 to 45 minutes isn’t going to make a big difference for your business.

And this happens to meetings that are planned and scheduled in advance.

So what happens if you have to hold a last minute meeting?

Take a look at these tips that will help you run productive meetings, even if you aren’t 100% prepared for them.

1. Have a Good Reason

Make sure everyone at the meeting knows why they’re there and what they’re supposed to be doing.

In the best cases, this will involve sending out a meeting objective with any relevant resources pertaining to the meeting. You may also want to type up a meeting agenda that explains what topics you’ll tackle during the meeting.

If you have at least one of these two things, everyone who enters the meeting will know exactly why they’re there and what they’re going to discuss. It will keep the conversation on topic, and you’ll save time trying to explain why you’re all there at the beginning of the meeting.

If you don’t have time for that before a last minute meeting, at least write the objective on the whiteboard or explain the agenda before you get started.

2. Only Include People You Need

Don’t include people in a meeting just because they’re employees too. Really take some time to think about who is needed in the meeting and who would just take up space.

This will keep your meeting small and personal and will allow you to stay on track.

If a meeting has nothing to do with certain employees, they will have nothing to offer. It will be a waste of time for them and for you. Remember, time is money, and they might spend that time better elsewhere.

3. Start on Time and End on Time

And keep the meetings short. There can be no exceptions to this rule.

People will fill any amount of time you give them, but they’ll start to lose focus after 30 or 45 minutes. If you can, make the meetings even shorter than that.

Put someone in charge of tracking the time. When the meeting time is almost up, have the person give you a signal or have them speak up and let everyone know much much time is left.

A short meeting will hold everyone’s attention, and you’ll make as much progress in a 25-minute meeting as you will in a 35-minute meeting. So long as your meeting is structured, you’ll get a lot done no matter how short it is.

You should also give yourself at least 10 minutes of buffer time at the end of each meeting. But this time should not give your meetings permission to drag on longer than they should.

Rather, this will give you time to prepare for the next meeting and leave space for any last minute meetings that need to be squeezed in somewhere.

4. No Electronics Allowed

When you let employees bring computers and phones into a meeting, you’re suddenly competing for their attention. Even if they are using their laptop to take notes, they’ll have a harder time remembering everything that was talked about in the meeting.

Make a no electronics rule and stick to it. The only reason anyone should be looking at their phone is if they are in charge of tracking time. Even then, if you have any other kind of clock, use it.

5. If You’re Late, You’re Out

This might sound harsh, but remember, the meeting has to start on time. You can’t wait around for late people to show up.

So if someone can’t get there on time, make it clear that they won’t be allowed into the meeting. Having someone walk in late and take a few minutes to get settled can be very distracting. Catching them up on what they missed will also take the meeting off course.

Make sure everyone understands that they are responsible for getting to the meeting on time and remind them the meeting starts exactly when the agenda says it does.

6. Have a Plan When You Finish

By the end of the meeting, everyone should know the next steps and what they are responsible for doing themselves.

If people leave the meeting without a clear action plan and set deadlines, the meeting hasn’t done what it was supposed to do.

Have someone take notes throughout the meeting, and after the meeting, turn those notes into action items. Send them to everyone who attended the meeting and put someone in charge of keeping track of who does what by when.

This will help everyone understand the end of a meeting results in action, not in returning to whatever work they were doing before the meeting started.

7. Make Everyone Contribute

Sometimes meetings end up being a conversation between two or three people with a lot of other people watching them. There will always be people more vocal than others, but the reason for the meeting is to share ideas, so anyone in the meeting needs to add something.

As you’re leading the conversation, encourage everyone to share their ideas. This may mean asking people directly, “What are your thoughts on A, B, or C?” If a person has nothing to contribute, they shouldn’t be at the meeting.

A Last Minute Meeting Can Still be Productive

Just because a last minute meeting hasn’t been on the calendar doesn’t mean it has to be any less productive than any other meeting. Keep it controlled, on time, and on track, and your meeting will end with action and results.

Want to learn how you can get more done with less stress? Take a look at this article!

client meeting

10 Business Etiquette Tips for Your Next Client Meeting

Seventy percent of people make a decision about you based off of your first impression.

Perhaps you dread those meetings where you feel like you always have to be “on”. Or maybe you love the prospect of meeting new potential clients and enjoy showing your best self. Regardless of your feelings about first business dates, you have to conduct yourself in a way that will leave a lasting (good) impression.

So, what’s acceptable and what isn’t during an initial client meeting? Can you check your phone? Who should be asking all of the questions?

Breaking the unwritten rules of career professionalism can make or break your reputation. Have no fear, a guide on etiquette tips is here. We’ve compiled a list of 10 essential tips that will help you have the most professional meetings in the coming year.

1. Get Dressed

Yes, your appearance matters. You don’t have to step into the room looking like Giselle or Brad Pitt, but you need to look put together, regardless of your wardrobe budget. You can shop at places with budget-friendly prices for a fantastic professional wardrobe.

You want to roll into your client meeting looking fresh, well-dressed, and sufficiently awake (caffeinated). Your outward professional appearance will speak volumes about you as a professional.

Believe it or not, your clothing will affect your success.

2. Be on Time for Your Client Meeting

Few things will make you look as unprofessional as showing up late will. It makes you look sloppy, unprepared and unorganized. Furthermore, it may make a client wonder about your time management skills.

Being on time for a client meeting (if not 10 minutes early) speaks volumes about how much you care about your work and your client. Being on time shows them that they are your priority. It also shows them that you have a tight schedule, you are busy, and actively engaged.

3. Speak in Turn

Never, ever interrupt a client while they are speaking. That tells them that you are so deep in your thought process that you aren’t even hearing them. There will be a few instances in large conferences or in meetings where you might need to interrupt, but as a general rule let someone finish their thoughts.

When it’s your time to speak and state all you’ll do for a client, you don’t want to be interrupted either. A client meeting should be a polite conversation between two people expressing needs, services, wants, and goals.

4. No Phone

Albeit difficult, your phone needs to be put away during meetings. Browsing your phone while speaking to other people is rude and careless. It tells them your mind is elsewhere and that they aren’t the focus of your attention.

A client needs to feel like a V.I.P. if you want to get hired by them. The last thing you want to appear is too busy to listen to them, let alone take on their workload. Keep your phone on vibrate and in your pocket.

5. Coffee Break

If you want to drink something in your meeting, make sure it’s coffee. Everything else may seem a little unprofessional. Coffee is a staple of the business world.

Coffee in hand is a sign of a goer, a successful business person, and someone who needs the boost to get all of their many business ventures satisfied. Drinking can make noises and be a little off-putting in general, so take small sips once in a while.

6. Mama Says Sit Up

Simply sit up. Straighten your back, and have good posture during your client meeting. If you need to adjust your chair to get comfortable or to be at equal height with your client, do so.

Much like your dress code, slouching will give an unkempt and sloppy appearance. Sitting up gives your poise, confidence, and a nice silhouette. Do as you learned when you were a kid, and sit nice and tall.

7. Speak Up

When it’s your time, speak with volume and confidence. People who speak in whisper tones are perceived as weak and incapable. Do not let your tone affect your professionalism.

If you have every other duck in a row professionally but can’t bring a little prowess to your speaking voice, you might have a problem. All you have to do is speak with a little volume and gumption.

When it’s your turn, be heard. You didn’t do all that studying and research in your field to lose a client over perceived notions about your strength as a professional.

8. Mission Possible

A massive part of showing a client that you are ready and willing to work for them is by having a good strong agenda. You need to stay on track so you don’t get sidelined into caveats that don’t matter to the end goal.

If you do get off track, have a few tactics in your back pocket to use as a strong facilitator to get you back where you need to be in the conversation. The art of conversation is a complex one. Have a plan, have an agenda, and stick to it.

9. Be Brave

Ask the hard questions no one else wants to ask. Get the information you need to make your client feel confident that you are the best choice for them. Don’t wait until the end to ask them all at once, either.

Ask your questions in a polite and timely manner. Be brave, be bold, and be courteous. Ask your client the questions that are detail oriented that perhaps other people skim over.

10. Clean Up

Push in your chair at the end of your meeting. Grab your coffee cup. Throw away any napkins used.

Simply clean up after yourself. It’ll speak volumes about you as a person and as a professional. Leave your setting the way you found it.

Schedule It

The only way to get a schedule full of great meetings with clients is by making them happen. Be strong and tell your potential clients that you at least deserve a meeting with you before making their decision

Meetings are the way to success. You can’t get business without being able to showcase why you are the best option for the job. Follow ten tips and you’ll be sure to impress your next client.

For more tips, tricks, and advice on how to get a packed schedule, contact us for a free demo.