Meetings are almost always a necessary evil in the workplace. We all know how it goes—someone proposes an idea, the entire team gathers to discuss it, and hours later everyone is still debating the same points that were raised right at the start. If this sounds familiar, you're not alone! Let's explore some of the pet peeves of meeting culture and how Executive Assistants can be game changers in their organizations.
The Dreaded “Death by PowerPoint”
This is perhaps one of the most common complaints about meetings—the dreaded "death by PowerPoint." It seems like every meeting starts with someone presenting a slideshow full of data and graphs. Not only does this take up a lot of time, but it's also incredibly boring for everyone who isn't giving the presentation. The real issue here is that these slides are often unnecessary—most people can understand complex ideas without needing to be shown a PowerPoint presentation. Instead of subjecting your team to endless PowerPoints, make sure presentations are kept short and to-the-point.
✅ Some ways you can avoid the above-mentioned death!
Keep slides short and to the point. After all, if you can say it in one slide, why use five?
When giving a presentation (or prepping your team to give one), don't be afraid to get creative - stirring up conversations or making jokes can keep everyone engaged!
Allow any important discussions to take place after the presentation is done as this encourages participation from all meeting attendees - better ideas come from collaboration, not just one-man shows.
Make sure key points are remembered by creating discussion points or assigning tasks before ending the meeting - there's no time for forgetting when you have a great team behind you!
The Unproductive Brainstorming Session
We've all been there before—that brainstorming session where nothing gets accomplished because no one can agree on anything. When disagreement arises during a brainstorming session, it's important to focus on finding solutions instead of getting stuck on disagreements or pointing fingers at each other. Executive Assistants can help facilitate productive conversations by redirecting discussion towards potential solutions rather than dwelling on disagreements. By doing this, they will ensure that meetings remain focused and productive even when there are differing opinions in the room.
✅ But how, Meg? Well, you lovely people, here's how
Set ✨ crystal clear ✨ expectations for the 'sesh - no room for goalpost-moving here!
Don't be afraid to tap into your creativity - it's time to think outside the box, and maybe even break it open!
Inspire some cross-pollination: Each person should bring their own special sparkle to the party.
Shake things up with breaks: If everyone's starting to feel like they're in a rut, it's likely time to take a quick breather and come back refreshed with fresh ideas!
No matter how well planned out a meeting may be, there is always something that goes wrong. Whether it's technical issues with equipment or participants running late, these eventualities can quickly derail an otherwise productive meeting if not handled properly. As an Executive Assistant, you have to be prepared for any eventuality that may arise during a meeting and be ready to adapt accordingly so as not to waste any precious time. The best way to do this is to plan ahead and make sure you're aware of any potential issues that could arise during a meeting beforehand so you can address them quickly if they do come up.
✅ Here is a quick checklist for you, I know you like 'em!
Give your software a test-drive and make sure it's running properly before you hit the accelerator.
Connect all devices to the same Wi-Fi network, if applicable - no one likes a slow internet connection! (This is a sneaky one!)
Fully charge all electronic devices prior to use in the presentation - no one likes a dead battery mid-speech!
Stock up on extra cables, batteries, adapters and other power sources - better safe than sorry!
Make sure there's enough sound to hear any audio being used in the presentation - don't leave your audience guessing what that beep was about!
Give everything a final check by performing a quick run-through of the entire presentation with all equipment beforehand - don't let glitches surprise you at the last minute!
Lastly, meetings are always going to be a part of our daily lives, we won't get away from them, but we have it ourselves to make them better. To be incredibly prepared for them, ensure that time is spent with intention. With that said, here are a couple of tips to ensure team meetings aren't quite as painful ✨
Have a clear purpose
Everyone knows that a team meeting isn't complete without a mission statement! Before scheduling that get-together, ask yourself: what's the purpose of this meeting? Let your attendees know in advance so they can come prepared with their best questions and ideas. That way, you'll have a productive discussion with the whole team instead of just sitting around aimlessly!
Set an agenda
Every team meeting should have an agenda or else it's just a bunch of people talking in circles! Send it out ahead of time so attendees can come prepared with any questions or comments they may have. That way, you won't miss any important topics and you'll stay on track during the meeting.
Every team member should have their chance to speak up! Encourage participation so that everyone feels like they are contributing and making an impact - it'll help bring the whole team together.
Treat each other with respect during the meeting - it's a much more productive and enjoyable environment that way! Everyone has something valuable to contribute, so take all comments and ideas seriously – no matter how different they may be from your own opinion.
Team meetings can be long - don't forget to take regular breaks! Give everyone a chance to get up and stretch their legs, grab a drink of water, or just take their eyes off the screen. It'll help keep everyone energized and engaged.
Follow up after the meeting
After the meeting's over and done with, don't forget to reach out to everyone who was there. Make sure everyone gets the message – sending a round of emails or using some other kind of communication guarantees that no one's left in the dark about next action steps.
Meetings are an essential part of any organization's operations, but they don't have to be painful experiences for everyone involved! With careful planning and preparation from Executive Assistants, meetings can become more efficient and effective tools for making decisions within organizations without wasting valuable time or resources. By addressing common pet peeves such as "death by PowerPoint" and unproductive brainstorming sessions head-on, Executive Assistants can ensure that their teams spend less time in meetings and more time dedicated to getting actual work done!
May the meeting odds forever be in your favour ✌️🕊️