A study conducted by Bain Capital showed that one Executive Briefing meeting at a Fortune 500 company consumed 300,000 hours of time in a single year. Another Fortune 50 company estimated their costs due to poor meetings at $75 Million. While you may not work for a Fortune 500 company, those are still some serious numbers.
With the average US employee attending 62 meetings per month, a $75,000 worker costs $2,325 per month for meetings. According to roi.ted.com, roughly 1/3 of the time in meetings is wasted. For a small business with 100 employees, that could mean a total cost of $2,790,000 for meetings with $930,000 of that productivity wasted every year.
So how do we combat poor meetings in our organizations?
Taking a logical approach to the solution, we can all agree that if a meeting is labeled as “poor” or a “waste of time” after attending the meeting, then it is fair to say the attendees’ expectations were not met. How do we meet or beat meeting expectations every time?
Start with setting the expectations!
In some cases, expectations are not met because they were never communicated to the audience prior to the meeting. When everyone attends with a different set of expectations, it seems obvious that someone will leave disappointed. The simple first step is to create (or request!) an agenda with clear expectations for the topics to be discussed, work to be done, and the decisions to be made. Then communicate these expectations to all the attendees prior to the meeting.
Always bring a prepared message!
Preparing a structured message for the meeting will make the most of everyone’s time. The complaint I hear the most from presenters is, “I’m busy! I barely have time to give the presentation and now you want me to prepare, develop, and rehearse my message?” So true for all of us! If that sounds like you, I’ve got two considerations for you.
First, invest your time so your company can see the ROI. If it takes me two hours to prepare a better message, then my investment of two hours is definitely less expensive than the 8 hours of productivity lost if my 8 attendees waste an hour of their time in my meeting. It may be more work for me to prepare for the meeting, but it’s an overall cost savings of 6 hours to my company since I prepared and didn't just wing it.
Second, prepare a structured message to create impact. This can be the hard part without a model to follow, right? Preparing a succinct message is much easier when you have a model for constructing the message. If the audience has trouble following the flow of a message, their brains have to work harder to make sense of the message. The harder their brains work, the more likely they’ll get fatigued and eventually quit trying. This is when they get their smart phones out!
Our Message Builder methodology will help you with this. We’ve developed simple tools for building succinct messages to create immediate impact with any audience. We can show you how to use 4 simple models to prepare and deliver presentations in as little as 9-minutes.
You can register today to receive free training on our Message Builder methodology. The 9 lessons are delivered daily to your email. Don’t let poor communication in meetings steal another minute of your productivity! This free training is only available for a limited time only. On May 18th, the registration page will be closed to new enrollees. Register today and let’s start a movement for better meetings! Share this article and the registration page with your team or anyone who could benefit from the free training.
Never stop improving!
By Russ Peterson Jr.