How to Make Meetings More Effective

Hilary Corna
3 min readOct 24, 2023

Numbers don’t lie. Meetings are often considered a waste of time and money. According to research done by Zippia, companies spend roughly 15% of their time on meetings and 71% of those meetings are considered unproductive. Moreover, an estimated $37 billion is lost annually to unproductive meetings.

Meetings can be unproductive for a variety of reasons, such as lack of clear purpose or agenda, poor time management, lack of engagement from participants, having too many attendees, and no follow-up after the meeting. When these issues are present, meetings can feel like a waste of time and fail to achieve their intended goals.

By addressing these issues and implementing strategies to make meetings more productive, you can ensure that your meetings are effective and valuable for all involved.

Here are ways to make meetings more effective and productive:

Ask yourself if the meeting is really necessary

Determine the purpose of your meeting and decide whether it’s really necessary. If you are going to share information, would an email be as effective, if not better? If something needs to be decided upon, could you talk directly to the decision-maker instead? If you need to gauge opinions, why not make a poll?

Have a clear agenda

Once you decide that a meeting is indeed needed, create a clear and concise agenda that outlines the purpose of the meeting and the topics that will be discussed. Share the agenda with all participants in advance so they can come prepared.

Set goals

Define clear goals for the meeting and communicate them to all participants. This helps everyone stay focused and on track during the meeting.

Get the right people to attend the meeting

The more participants, the bigger the drop in productivity. Only invite those who have a specific role in the meeting. If key decision-makers cannot attend, you’ll need to postpone.

Time management

Stick to the specific start and end times of the meeting. Use a timer or clock to keep track…

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Hilary Corna

CEO | Founder of The Human Way | Bestselling Author | New book #UNprofessional out 9/21 | Host of the UNprofessional podcast | As seen in Forbes, Fortune, WSJ