Three Secrets to Better Meetings

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Meetings have traits reminiscent of the title of that old Western film: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

They help us plan, keep us apprised of important developments, and allow us to come together to make important decisions. That's good.

They can also eat up too much time. That's bad.

All too often, they don't produce tangible results. That's downright ugly.

Fortunately, it's not hard to fix the bad and the ugly. By taking three simple steps you can:

  • Reduce meeting time by 25% or more.
  • Get decisions made quickly - with consensus and accountability for results.
  • Stop the endless cycle of revisions and follow-up meetings.

Three Steps to Better Meetings

Your meetings will be shorter and more productive if you follow this simple formula.

  1. Create a visual agenda ahead of time using a mind map you can edit in real time. Display it on the conference room projector (or on your screen using an online meeting platform such as GoToMeeting or WebEx). Report graphics
  2. Move through the agenda items, noting decisions on the mind map. If action items are needed, decide in the meeting who is responsible. There are a few ways to do this in SmartDraw. You can assign the item to that person using Trello, change the shape of the task so it has a row that can show assignment, or simply add a shape representing the person and drag the task under their name in the hierarchy. Everyone in the meeting sees the action item assigned. There is no room for different interpretations of action taken and the person assigned the task is publicly accountable for completing it. Report graphics
  3. Upon conclusion of the meeting, distribute the action item document, in visual format (which becomes the minutes of the meeting), to each attendee by sending them a link. Report graphics

Get Tangible Results from Your Meeting

A successful meeting is one that produces real, tangible results. Schedule a follow-up meeting. Start it by displaying the same action item document publicly.

Review the status of each action item. Anyone who has promised to get something done is now accountable to everyone else. You'll soon find that:

  • Meetings are shorter and to the point
  • What's promised actually gets done
  • Everyone is on the same page

SmartDraw Gives You All the Tools You Need

To produce great results you need great tools. SmartDraw is used by professional business owners and managers worldwide who depend on it for better meeting results.

SmartDraw lets you create an easy-to-read agenda, edit it real time, and assign action items to attendees. Best of all, it gives everyone in the meeting a clear and concise plan of action with accountability.

SmartDraw actually doesn't require any "drawing." It is as quick and easy to create great looking visuals as it is to produce documents using a word processor.

The breakthroughs of intelligent formatting and the ease of use of SmartDraw enable anyone to create presentation-quality visuals with no special training or skills.

SmartDraw makes diagramming easy