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Effective Communication in Meetings



Effective Communication in Meetings can be achieved with a solid objective in mind, a tight agenda, and a commitment to involving the meeting participants in the planning, preparation, and execution of the meeting, you are well on your way to chairing great meetings.

Meetings take up a significant chunk of our time at work. They may have different participants, be at different levels and may cover a varying array of topics. But there are a few things that should be kept in mind irrespective of the nature of the meetings because ultimately it is a one-to-one or one-to-many conversation.


Ask, “Is it Necessary?’’:

Some meetings can be substituted for other forms of communication such as an Email. We wouldn’t want people to think that the meeting is unnecessary while it is still going on, it would cause them to disengage, and the purpose of the meeting would be defeated.

Schedule well ahead of time and be punctual:

If we are scheduling a meeting, set it ahead of time. Short notice is not ideal. People are taking out their precious time for this meeting, respect it. 

Set an Agenda and stay on Topic

Set a definite agenda, and share it in brief with the invitation so the participants know what the meeting is about. Try to stick to the agenda as far as possible. Don’t hesitate to interject and bring the meeting back on track if you feel that the meeting is going off-topic. Prepare a one-pager to share before commencing the meeting to get the participants up to speed.


Communication Intricacies and Body Language:

Make sure to appear confident and your non-verbal communication is in line with the nature of your message. Take care of body language. Getting it wrong can be counterproductive and signal disinterest on your part. 

For Example:

  • Do not slouch or lean forward. Maintain an upright posture
  • Make sure your tone of voice agrees with the nature of your message. I.e: One should seem enthusiastic when sharing positive news and vice-versa
  • Be careful to use the appropriate words, be subtle when necessary
  • Control your breathing, do not rush and keep nervousness at bay
  • Avoid unnecessary body movements and do not fidget
  • Main eye contact and remember to smile
  • Nod your head (in agreement) to show that you are paying attention


Keep it democratic:

Avoid long monologues and keep the floor for discussion. Invite your team members to share their opinions.


Take Notes:

Always take the gist of the meeting or ‘minutes of the meeting’ for your future reference. This will communicate your seriousness and help you lead any follow-up discussions that may happen in the future.

Running an effective meeting is more than sending out a notice that your team is to meet at a particular time and place. Effective meetings need structure, order and ground rules. Without these elements, they can go on forever and not accomplish anything.

Given the frustration, most people feel when their time is wasted, gaining a reputation for running efficient and successful meetings is good for you and your career.


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