Keeping Meetings Productive

KEEPING MEETINGS PRODUCTIVE: Whether participants approve or disapprove of an idea, they shouldn't be penalized or given a raise. If you start criticizing people who disapprove, then you're only making your meetings less productive. Likewise, if you start handing out raises to everyone who agrees with you. This kind of behavior conditions participants to contributing only to win approval, rather than honestly contributing. Participants may focus more on developing ideas that meet approval, rather than generating their own creative ideas. To promote a free and creative sharing of ideas, the chairperson needs to exercise support of authority. Their role is to encourage participants to express their own ideas freely and fully.

TALKERS AND NON-TALKERS: Nearly every meeting has talkative members and quiet members. A quiet person may have an important contribution, but may feel intimated by the spontaneity of the meeting. Try to get past this by making eye contact with them while asking for a response from the group. Acknowledge a response from another member only if the quiet member gives no response. In effect, this will encourage him/her to answer the question without pinning them down.

KEEPING DOWN THE NOISE: A more difficult problem to rectify is quieting members who try to dominate meetings. Dominating people usually have immediate responses and go into endless detail if given the opportunity, while sometimes getting off the point and sidetracking the meeting. These participants are usually bright and valuable yet they can ruin a meeting if they are not stopped. You want to manage this person without alienating them. First, when you believe you understand the point being made, close the topic by saying "Thank you, I understand." Second, avoid making eye contact with this person and/or hold up your hand as a casual stop sign. Finally, if all else fails, tape record the meeting and ask them to listen to the tape recording. This usually solves the problem.

CEO, A.E. Schwartz & Associates, Boston, MA., a comprehensive organization which offers over 40 skills based management training programs. Mr. Schwartz conducts over 150 programs annually for clients in industry, research, technology, government, Fortune 100/500 companies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. He is often found at conferences as a key note presenter and/or facilitator. His style is fast-paced, participatory, practical, and humorous. He has authored over 65 books and products, and taught/lectured at over a dozen colleges and universities throughout the United States.

In The News:


The End is the Beginning

People remember best what you say last. In a presentation,... Read More

Business Presentations - Use Power Pitching - Get the Personal Edge

Whenever and whatever you're pitching, dozens of factors will figure... Read More

1,000,001 Reasons To Connect With Your Audience

Eye contact is mandatory when giving a public presentation.The goal... Read More

Painless Presentations

Did the "Painless" part of the title get your attention?Speaking... Read More

7 Myths That Make Meetings Miserable

Myth 1: Executives belong in meetings.Although the demands of business... Read More

Present Statistics In Context

"I didn't have 3000 pairs of shoes. I had only... Read More

Top Ten Rules for Effective Presentations

I am of the belief that the majority of people... Read More

Ancient PowerPoint Secrets: Ask Your Grandma!

Yes, there are ancient PowerPoint secrets...secrets your grandmother knows and... Read More

The Right Speaker Makes a BIG DIFFERENCE

MORE and more corporations in Malaysia have awoken to the... Read More

Qualities of Good Communication

Webster's Dictionary defines communication as "a giving or exchanging of... Read More

Cell Phone Dos And Dont During A Meeting

What would we do without our cell phones? Wow, there's... Read More

Watch Out For Power Thieves

"I'm not an expert on this topic, but . .... Read More

A Powerful Presentation Technique-Story Telling

Appealing to emotions is the most powerful way to transfer... Read More

How You Can Save On Conference Calling

In recent years, companies have recognized the need to expand... Read More

Powerpoint Sales Presentations Are Boring - Stop It!

As the meeting began, the project manager of the buying... Read More

Creating Your Presentation Success With a Positive ?I CAN? Attitude

According to the Lamalle Report on Top Executives of the... Read More

Nonverbal Communication in Business

There are five key elements that can make... Read More

Chairing A Meeting The Most Effective Way

How many times have you attended a meeting where the... Read More

Keeping Meetings Productive

KEEPING MEETINGS PRODUCTIVE: Whether participants approve or disapprove of an... Read More

Total Recall: How to Remember Your Speech Without Memorizing

We all fear that moment. You look out on a... Read More

Polishing Your Sales Presentation

Summer is here! It's time to bring out your summer... Read More

Fading into Sameness: How Too Many Slides Can Ruin Your Presentation

"I have a love/hate relationship with PowerPoint. In the right... Read More

Create A Better Impresion With Your Emails

How do you come across in your emails?As I receive... Read More

Building a Trade Show Display

If you are taking your newest products to a trade... Read More

Incorporate Humor in Your Next Speech

Some speakers say, "I could never use humor in my... Read More