How many meetings have you attended already this year? I am sure your answer is probably “so many I couldn’t even tell you”. How many were effective and how many were not effective? The latter number may be more easily definable.

Meetings are a way of life for most of us. They may be in person, teleconferences, video conferences, and interactive internet meetings. No matter the meeting setting, we must remember that our image is showing. No matter our role in the meeting, our image is showing.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak at a conference on this very subject. The first thing they discussed was ineffective meetings and how nothing happens during them. I could not write on the flipchart paper fast enough as they were firing words and phrases very rapidly. Then we discussed effective meetings and the group was much slower in responding. They knew what should happen but have not seen it enough to recognize it.

The description or agenda of a meeting sets the stage for what will happen, how it will happen etc. Too many meetings forget about this important aspect. Create an agenda using the word GOALS. GOALS stand for:

  • G  Goals of the meeting are specific such as we are going to meet to brainstorm on strategies to increase sales by 10%.
  • O  Outcomes….address what will happen, how people will interact. An example might be that we will use structured activities to collect ideas and then everyone will have the opportunity to ask questions and make comments on the ideas.
  • A  Activities serve as the blueprint for what will occur, who is responsible for each and the time allotted. An example would be to use structured exercises to collect, analyze, and create action steps for ideas.
  • L  Logistics provide people information they need to succeed including the location where they will meet, what to bring, and how to prepare. Add a little humor if desired and let them know they need to bring a lollipop or a funny hat.
  • S  Strategies include meeting with key participants to access support or opposition; uncover obstacles, and make sure that each member is ready to contribute to the meeting.

What is an approach you use that helps to create effective meetings? What have been some of the worst and best meetings that you witnessed? Email me so everyone learn more techniques as I will certainly share them.

Enjoy your next meeting!

Author: Nyda Bittmann-Neville is an image and brand doctor who helps her clients to market, communicate, and enhance an overall image and brand. She works with a wide range of industries in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Contact her at [email protected] and check out the websites at and