Over the years, I have coordinated LOTS of meetings. Both small and great.
I have learned that there is a skill behind a good, effective meeting. Being able to coordinate and host a good meeting creates upscale potential for you to get recognized in your organization for your effectiveness.
If you are an administrative assistant, ministry director, or even a Pastor, here are a few thoughts on what is required for a good meeting:
· Plan ahead. Do not wait until the day of. Planning helps to prevent failure. "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."
· Have an agenda. Take people's time seriously. An agenda makes sure that you talk about the essential items, and that you remember.
· Create a set time. Start on time, and end on time. Don't let the meeting go on and on. Tell the people what time you want to end. People will respect that. You give them an outlet.
· Decide on whether food is an option or not. Think this ahead. Some rooms or places may not allow food. Are people going to be getting off of work to attend the meeting? Is it during lunch? Is food really necessary? Again - ask the right questions.
· Media needs. Decide whether or not you are going to need PowerPoint, graphics, or show a video. Does the room have the technology for this (televisions, projector, screens)? If they do, then I would conduct a test before the meeting. It never fails - something may go wrong. Loading takes time. What's the wifi passcode? Again, investigate to find answers.
· Music. I would suggest to have a speaker or songs ready to fill in "awkward" quiet space if necessary. Not all meetings require this, but it helps in certain settings. Music helps to create energy, and lack of music can hinder the energy in the room.
· Send reminders leading up to the meeting. People are busy. People forget. A friendly reminder takes nothing away from you, and people will be grateful. Don't overdo it, but keep it cordial and gentle.
· Check the room. If you are hosting the meeting outside of your typical sphere, I would recommend to go check it out in advance. Notice the setting. Where are the restrooms? Do you have access to control the air? What is limited? Any other potential distractions you should be aware of?
· Keep the conversation moving forward. If you are the facilitator of the meeting, do your best to keep the focus of the meeting. Remember why the meeting was called in the first place. Don't allow sidebar conversations to highjack the meeting. If people want to connect over other types of topics, they can do so after the meeting.
· Action points. Meetings are meant to discuss a topic and go from there. Action is generally required. If there were action points discussed in the meeting, go over it in the summary at the end of the meeting. What was decided upon? Who is doing what? I would recommend to send a follow up email to include a thank you, a summary, and the written action points. I have done this repeatedly in the past, and it helps to document.
Meetings are often a part of work and business. However, they do not have to be ineffective, nor do they need to be a waste of time and space.
In whatever you do, do it well.
Abram Gomez is the Executive Pastor of Cross Church, formerly known as Valley International Christian Center, in San Benito, TX. He serves under the leadership of Bishop Jaime Loya and helps in leading the 2,500-member congregation. Abram is a graduate of Southwestern Assemblies of God University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Church Ministries. He recently earned his Master’s Degree in Human Services Counseling with a specialization in Executive Leadership from Liberty University. Abram is the founder and director of Next Gen, a movement designed to mentor Next Generation Church Leaders. Abram recently received approval as a team member and representative for Nation 2 Nation University, a video-based ministerial school offering two and four year degrees. His teaching is a part of the curriculum including Youth Ministry, Church Administration and Church Growth. Occasionally, Abram writes for Valley Christian Magazine, a regional periodical that covers the entire valley. He and his wife, Rebecca, reside in Harlingen along with their precious daughter Isabella and son Jude.