How to have productive meetings

It is vital for founders to conduct meetings seamlessly, control the flow, keep everyone a up-to-date, and drive towards the agenda at hand. Sometimes, it does become distracting when the flow strays from the agenda, or it starts becoming too technical which means some members start daydreaming about their lunch, or their next vacation. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

Whenever that happens, you can always fall upon some methods to quickly streamline the meeting and drive towards your goal.

How can founders conduct better meetings

a. Use Venn Diagrams

Why do we love the image of Ikigai? It just drives the point hard, and home!

Does not need elaborate explanations and time for people to understand. Visual representation is the easiest way to help draw attention. It does not matter if your diagram is correctly sized or accurate – it needs to invoke the mental capacities of everyone and make the meeting richer intellectually.

b. Do away with percentages, and use numbers

This is counter-intuitive, but hear us out. It is perfectly normal, and smarter to say “We have a 50% conversion rate”. But think about it, we are so used to hearing percentages all the time. What if you say “We convert 1 out of every 2 users…. that means out of the 10 people sitting here, 5 of us can be buyers”. This again ingnites the mental capacities of listeners.

c. Note down important points

Always have a notepad handy. You need not keep records as impeccable as minutes of the meeting. However any feedback, inputs, suggestions, changing body language, objections, questions need to be jotted down and revisited to understand why it happened, or how can you incorporate it to make your next meeting better.

d. Revisit some numbers or comments

It almost always helps if you can remember the context of a previous meeting, get everyone up-to-date, and then share a progress report. “If you remember when we last spoke you mentioned X, we’ve worked on it and I can confidently tell you that we have created 2X”. This shows you pay attention, you work on inputs, and you know how to follow up. This, of course, only works if you actually did the hard work of following up!

e. Take a step back

Whenever you find the meeting going around in circles, politely request everyone to take a step back. It can be as simple as “Hang on, what are we trying to discuss – we want to find the best way to do X right? Can we discuss what defines success – and we can take it up from there”. This prevents a meeting from straying, and people turning off after a point. Instead of that, you can take control, regroup, and work towards the goal in a time-bound manner. Nobody has 2 hours to spend discussing a point that was meaningless!

And there it is – simple methods to regain control of your pitch meeting and make it into a productive one for you and your team! If you have any suggestions, or personal experiences to share, please reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you!

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