Facilitating

Learning to facilitate a meeting is an art.

When I first started running business meetings in 1990 for several of the local chamber offices. I was terrified at first! But I had a knack for it. Partly because I was interested in what everyone had to say and I was always trying to think of ways I could help them.

What was unique about the meetings was everyone always had a good time and we accomplished a lot of business. Everyone frequently commented on how much they enjoyed the meetings and after a four months my group had thirty attendees when the other two groups were down to five or six members.

The main reason was the productivity of the meeting and everyone was given an equal opportunity to promote their business as well as being encouraged to ask for help in a way that would nearly guarantee they would increase their business contacts.

One of the key ingredients to facilitating a successful meeting is to craft an Agenda and stick to it. I designed my Agenda to have a specific time table and I adhered to the schedule as closely as was possible given the range of those attendees which could be between 225 and 35.

The main thing you want to remember is the meeting needs to appear effortless while having complete control at all times. Always pay attention to make sure everyone is involved and no one monopolizes the meeting.

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