3 Tips for Faster, More Effective Meetings

By @DougDevitre, author of Screen to Screen Selling: How to Increase Sales, Productivity, and Customer Experience with the Latest Technology.

Who ever said meetings had to be an hour and that you have to show up in person to get the job done?  It simply isn’t a truth anymore with today’s technology.

I believe we are at the intersection of traditional beliefs as to what has worked well in the past vs. a new culture of more productive team members that adopt user-friendly technology.  Rather than overload you with technology options let’s first dive deep into the mindset before we recommend which skill sets to adopt.

It’s a mindset before a skill set.

You need to be convinced that a conference call with audio only is limiting the performance of your team.  We can’t assume that our teams’ preferred learning method is auditory.  If a picture really is a thousand words why not save time for productivity’s sake and save your breath by inserting a visual that perfectly paints the picture of the story you are trying to tell.  Convincing a team this new method is their best interests starts at the top and until the leaders believes, no one else will follow.

Bulleted slides are gone with the tides.

Meetings with pre-ordered presentation slides are the anti-Christ of productivity. The slide puppet presentation delivered by the presenter who clicks through each bulleted slide without having a dialogue with participants is a presentation, not a meeting. Productive meetings are better executed when the lead facilitator shares slides in advance, seeks feedback, prepares for commonly asked questions, and uses visual frames during the meeting.  These visual frames collect input from participants, aid in decision-making, and summarize next steps as agreed to by the team (not someone else’s prepared agenda).

Choose customer-friendly technology.

You and your customer shouldn’t have to call IT in order to have a conversation.  Similarly you wouldn’t make your customer create a Skype account to have a meeting.  Eliminate the excuses by choosing a customer friendly tool like join.me that does not require the customer to download the software from their desktop computer.  No one can say anymore they can’t meet while they are away from the office because mobile meetings with screen share now available on Smartphones worldwide.

Meetings do serve many different purposes whether your team is getting together face-to-face or Screen to Screen.  If the purpose is to introduce a team or nurture relationships then by all means face-to-face meetings are always best.  On the flip side geographically diverse teams who need to collaborate faster, interact with another, and execute quicker are maximizing the options found in Screen to Screen.

About the Author:

Doug Devitre is the founder of Doug Devitre International, Inc. He was inducted into the National Association of Realtors Business Specialties Hall of Fame, awarded Entrepreneur of the Year from University of Missouri-Columbia, and bestowed the top honor of Certified Speaking Professional Designation by the National Speakers Association.  Follow him on Twitter at @dougdevitre.