4 Hacks for Better Meetings Instantly

By Tom Banks

Sometimes it feels like meetings are something we have to endure. But since they're something take up so much of many people’s work day, shouldn’t we be aiming to make them something engaging and altogether more effective? We’ve put together some quick tips that will instantly improve any meeting.


#1 Don’t just state a reason and an agenda for the meeting. State specific objectives or expected outcomes.

In the calendar invite, we commonly write the reason for the meeting. That makes sense, right? We all need to know the topic or issue being addressed, and meeting agendas vary in depth and detail.. But without a stated objective for the meeting, people can struggle to move from discussion to action. How often do you attend a meeting and the outcome is another meeting for further discussions? By stating an objective or objectives ahead of time for invitees, you will begin to focus the conversation on outcomes, as well as set expectations for everyone.


#2 Make “D.R.I” your go-to strategy

If it was good enough for Apple and Steve Jobs, then it’s probably good enough for us mere mortals. D.R.I stands for Directly Responsible Individual and is a strategy used by Apple for ending meetings with greater clarity. Essentially, each task or action created as a result of the meeting is assigned to a nominated individual. By assigning a D.R.I for each point at the end of the meeting, with everyone present, there's no room for any doubt as to who should be doing what as a result of the meeting. And it gives you a clear roadmap for seeing how the objectives you started with will be achieved once the meeting is over, making follow up much easier. 

Assign a D.R.I.jpg


#3 Make everyone stand up

This is one we use regularly in Videxio to help make fast decisions. The benefits go beyond the obvious thinking of this approach - make people stand and they won’t get comfortable, leading to faster meetings. But actually, our experience has shown us that standing meetings help everyone be more alert and ready to go and ideas tend to flow more freely. Standing is a more active state than sitting, and this seems to impact engagement levels positively. And we're not the only ones who think this. A study by Andrew Knight and Markus Baer from Washington University found that when people stood up during a meeting instead of a sitting, they became more physiologically aroused and groups were able to collaborate more effectively with greater sharing of ideas and information. 


#4 Make sure every meeting is face to face

It’s increasingly common to collaborate with people in multiple locations. Traditionally, many businesses have used conference calls to manage this type of communication, and in the last few years, web conferencing has grown in popularity as way of sharing information with a large group of people spread over different locations.  

Obviously, you can’t hold always host meetings with everybody in-person but you can still host meetings face-to-face when people are far away from the office. Video meetings have become increasingly popular in offices over the last few years as a great way for distributed teams to collaborate. Cloud-based videoconferencing tools have simplified the art of connecting multiple people into one video meeting and a huge 94% of businesses who have implemented professional videoconferencing say it has made them more productive as an organization (Wainhouse Research). With cloud video, it's quick and seamless to join video meetings from any device, from purpose built videoconferencing systems to smartphones and desktops. 

How to improve efficiency for your workplace. Checklist

by Tom Banks

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