Team Meeting Starter Kit for 2021
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3 tips for effective meeting planning [+templates]

Think of any product you use. Even the simplest of products (Flappy Bird, anyone?) have months, if not years, of planning and development before launch. While your meetings probably don’t require months of prep, firmly nailing down your meeting mechanics before the meeting will save you time, make for a smoother start, and leave space for deep collaboration.

3 meeting planning tips for effective meetings

As with many successful projects, most of the heavy lifting happens at the planning stage. Good meeting planning ensures that ideas are captured, action items are assigned, and follow-ups are accounted for in the next meeting. Here are 3 tips on how to run effective meetings:

Define the purpose of the meeting.

Before your team meetings, everyone involved should align on the meeting goal. Clarity is half the battle when it comes to running a successful meeting. Do you want to make a decision? Or are you just checking in? Be as explicit as possible when defining the meeting purpose.

Brainstorm is part of pre-work.

Ever been in a meeting where time is lost on the brainstorming session? By making the ideation part of the pre-work for a meeting, you can save time and help team members come to the meeting with more focus and intentionality. As an added benefit, because pre-work forces everyone to think about the purpose and content of the meeting, they already have opinions ready to share.

Have a clear decision-making process.

A lot of meetings lose effectiveness by failing to include a step that translates great ideas into action. But if you design your meetings like a product, you start planning your meeting with the intended audience and output. While you’re working backward, make sure to also establish a clear decision-making process that encourages more accountability.

Meeting planning templates

Here are a set of templates to simplify and streamline your planning:

Pre-meeting prep template

We’re all juggling meetings, deep work, and passion projects. With so much in the mix, it’s easy to forget (or let slip) some of the pre-work required for effective meetings. Give yourself another set of hands with this
template that brings your calendar into a table with space for notes, questions, or whatever it takes to get prepared.

Remote meeting agenda template

Your meeting agenda items are important, sure, but meetings are just as much about interpersonal communication between team members as they are about work. Why not use this
template to ask your team how they’re feeling during the meeting—whether it’s about the topic at hand or life in general. And because the time
in
a meeting can go quick, give them time before the meeting to consider their answer and add any potential discussion topics to the agenda.

Team meeting tracker template

This
template is a solution that combines all three of our effective meeting tips. Within a single doc, the meeting planner helps you define the purpose of the meeting, establish a set of guiding principles to set clear expectations before the meeting begins, and track meeting minutes.

Meeting planning FAQs

What are the steps in planning a meeting?

What are the basic elements of a meeting?

What makes a good meeting?

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