Three Ways To Hold More Effective Team Meetings

With the demands of work (and life) vying for your attention, when you call a meeting, it can be tempting to dive straight into the agenda, cover each item and close out the proceedings. But from my perspective, treating meetings like a checklist is one of the biggest mistakes leaders can make.


My company coaches leaders on how to become more effective speakers, and as a professional public speaker myself, I believe it’s important to remember that meetings do not have to be the same experience every time your team convenes.

Here are three ways to fix (or avoid altogether) common mistakes leaders make in meetings:

Limit your words, and identify the takeaway.

While you are the one in charge and everyone most certainly should sit up and listen to your message, avoid providing an information dump or leaving your listeners to figure out the entire message on their own. To ensure your ideas consistently resonate, be selective with the amount of information you broadcast at one time, and always clarify what you want the audience to do with the information you provide.

According to Harvard Business Review, “You need to be able to communicate (your big idea) in 15 words or less … Share what the audience will take away, as well as the global impact of the talk.”

Judiciously use 15 words as a benchmark for the length of each of your big ideas; that way, you communicate them in easily consumable chunks. Essentially, you want your audience walking away with soundbites from your talk; these 15-word soundbites make it easier for everyone to follow your message, and they make it easier for everyone to remember what you said long after you have walked away from the microphone. You are looking for a resounding “Yes!” at the conclusion of your meeting — not because you are the leader, but because your listeners were able to follow your message and now know what they should do with it after the meeting concludes.

Welcome challenges.

As a leader, you face challenges on a regular basis, so the idea of addressing them when you talk to your team might not sound particularly appealing. However, if you do so — if you encourage your team to bring challenges to you —  you can position yourself to be regarded as an incredibly powerful speaker and leader.


Everyone must face challenges at some point in their careers. And I believe when you ask about those challenges, it shows your team you care.

To reduce the likelihood of your talk steering off course, encourage audience members to provide not only a challenge but also how they envision you can help them overcome it. One good practice is to ask team members to think of answers to the question, “What is a current challenge, and how can I help?” Then, have them bring their answers to the meeting.

Another best practice is to announce you will hear a certain number of responses or that you will spend a certain amount of time on this portion of the meeting, (e.g., 10 minutes). Giving your team a voice and an opportunity to be problem-solvers will always bode well for your meetings.

Create turning points.

Most of your messages are likely informative in nature. However, I believe it is a missed opportunity if a leader does not push the audience to be introspective and to have “aha” moments, no matter the content or the overall purpose of the presentation. Think to yourself, “How can I make them better?” or, “How can I move them to dream bigger or to want more?” This sends a message that you care about more than just the company or the bottom line. It shows that you care about elevating your team, which can only result in also elevating the company.

Former President of the National Speakers Association Ron Culberson still remembers a speaker’s keynote speech from 2004. It is because the speaker, certified speaking professional Joe Calloway, created a turning point for the audience. Culberson recalled Calloway’s words in a 2018 article for Speaker: “In a few years, when you’re being interviewed about how fabulous your life is and how great your career is, and the interviewer says, ‘Was there a turning point for you?’… I want you to say that there was. It was (this keynote) … I remember I started thinking of what I needed to let go of. And everything changed.”


I’ve found you can apply this thinking to your team meetings through turning points. Tell your audience what you wish someone had told your former self, what you wish you had known when you were starting your advance up the corporate ladder and what it takes to be the best. You create turning points by giving the audience hope, inspiration and a feeling that they can accomplish anything.

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    With the demands of work (and life) vying for your attention, when you call a meeting, it can be tempting to dive straight into the agenda, cover each
    [See the full post at: Three Ways To Hold More Effective Team Meetings]

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