meetings

How to Prepare for a Meeting

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What information do I need before a meeting?
  • What do I need to decide before a meeting?
  • How do I ensure I have time for the prework?

This cast tells you how to prepare for a meeting.

This is one of those casts in which posit such a simple action, that we almost hesitate to suggest it. But since the majority of your peers' preparation for a meeting consists of refilling their coffee cups, this simple action is one that can have a disproportionate influence on your career.

Too many meetings is a common complaint. In this case, it's a good thing, since you'll have lots of practice and get good really, really fast.


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Timely Meetings – Part 2

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I have to do to make my meetings start on time?
  • hat do I have to do to make my meetings finish on time?
  • How long do I wait for latecomers?

This cast concludes our conversation on how to run timely meetings.


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Timely Meetings – Part 1

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What do I have to do to make my meetings start on time?
  • hat do I have to do to make my meetings finish on time?
  • How long do I wait for latecomers?

This cast describes how to run timely meetings.

Mark was reminded of the importance of timely meetings when he was reading the recent interview with a SVP of Elle Group, in the New York Times. Among other inane and unprofessional, offensive things, the executive averred that she regularly shows up late to meetings to miss all the chit chat. (She also suggested that the chitchat was gender-based, but that's part of the inanity.) Okay, we are also routinely reminded about the importance of timely meetings by all the meetings we go to that start late, too.

In most organizations, culturally, the meeting of deadlines is treated with the same respect as timeliness in meetings. If your culture supports meeting lateness, we suspect that it also tolerates missed deadlines.

Do you want to know how sprinter trainers get sprinters to run faster? Believe it or not, to get a sprinter's legs to go faster, you just make his or her arms go faster.

If you want to start meeting more deadlines, start running your meetings on time. Here's how.


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Meetings Breaks - Part 2

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • When should I give breaks in my meetings?
  • Can I give ad hoc breaks in my meetings?
  • How do I deliver a break during a meeting?

The conclusion of our discussion on how to effectively conduct Meeting Breaks. 

And because we're traveling this week ... we're publishing this week's cast several days early.  Enjoy!


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Meeting Breaks - Part 1

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • When should I give breaks in my meetings?
  • Can I give ad hoc breaks in my meetings?
  • How do I deliver a break during a meeting?

This cast describes how to schedule and how to action breaks in meetings.

This is one of those casts we just never thought we'd do. We are like everyone else, in that we mostly assume that everyone else knows what we know, and does things the most effective way when they know it. But recently we've observed some meetings, and the way they handled breaks really surprised us. Not in a bad way - we just felt like we weren't doing our jobs. We've seen meeting breaks done well, and poorly, and it's our job to help everyone get them right. Sorry to the folks in those recent meetings that we didn't assume you'd want guidance in advance.

Meeting breaks are easy to schedule and do once we know the basics, and this cast lays out the basics quickly and easily.

  1. Meetings 2 Hours Or Longer Need a Break
  2. The General Rule For Scheduling Breaks Is Once Per Hour
  3. Morning Breaks Can Be 90 Minutes Apart
  4. Afternoon Breaks Are Best Left to 60 Minutes Apart
  5. You CAN Go 2 Hours In The Morning If Your Group is Moving Around
  6. Standard Break Length is 10 or 15 Minutes – Less or More is Ineffective
  7. Afternoon Breaks CAN Be Energizers
  8. Delivering a Break Well Means Three Things
    1. YOU Start It
    2. State The End Time
    3. Start At the End Time No Matter What


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Effective Meetings - No Laptops

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • Can I ban laptops from my meetings?
  • Why should I ban laptops from my meeting?
  • How do I stop people if they are using laptops in my meetings?

This cast describes why and how to run your meetings without laptops.

For our original cast on the Effective Meetings Protocol, check out Effective Meetings - Get Out of Jail!


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The Meeting Introduction for Large Groups

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I make introductions work for 100 people?
  • Do I use the entire introduction?
  • Do the logistics change?

This cast describes how to use the Manager Tools Meeting Introduction Tool For Large Groups - up to 100 Attendees!

We get asked all the time, "how big a group have you ever used the Meeting Introduction Tool with?" The answer is 110.

It is Mark's favorite Manager Tool because everyone can use it, it works so darn well, and it's TOTALLY against his natural inclination to "take up SO much time on fluff". And yet, when he has tried to NOT use it, trainings and meetings inevitably are less effective – sometimes enormously so. So, we don't use it because it makes natural sense, we use it because it's so incredibly effective. The definition of a professional executive is someone who does what is effective whether they like to or not.

So, if you want to use the Introduction Tool for a big group, we explain how in this cast.


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Effective Meetings Behavior Part 5 - Posture

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I make meetings effective when I'm not running them?
  • How do I make a good impression during meetings?
  • How do I demonstrate engagement during meetings?

We're all in meetings all the time, right? So how come there's not an instruction manual? We all complain about them. But no one seems able or willing to do something about it. We will.

We shared - 3 years ago - our recommendations on how to RUN an Effective Meeting. What about our recommendations for how to behave when you're NOT running the meeting?

We have a series of recommendations, because meetings take up so much of our professional lives. In this cast, #5 in a series we'll build up over time, we talk about how to be a participant once the meeting gets started.


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How to Prewire a Meeting

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What is pre-wiring?
  • How does it help to pre-wire meetings?
  • Who should I pre-wire?

This cast describes a way to prepare for meetings or presentations where you need to persuade.

You have a meeting coming up. Not only do you need to make a presentation, you need to make the presentation to your bosses boss. Perhaps you need to present to your bosses boss, but also all her directs at her next staff meeting. How do you prepare for that? How do you ensure that you don't walk across any land-mines during the presentation? What can you do NOW to make that presentation a slam-dunk?

Listen up ... in this members-only cast, with obvious links to our weekly podcast discussion on persuasion, we're going to show you!


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How to Handle Agendas in a Meeting (Part 2 of 2)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I prepare an agenda?
  • How do I use an agenda in a meeting?
  • How do I present an agenda in a meeting?

This cast is the second in our series on how to prepare and deliver an agenda for a large meeting or training. If you haven't listened to the first cast on the topic, we'd encourage you to do that first. You can find it here: http://www.manager-tools.com/2007/08/how-to-handle-agendas-in-a-meeting-...


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