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Taming the #1 Productivity Killer in American Business

| October 17, 2016 | 0 Comments

Taming the #1 Productivity Killer in American Businessmarketing-consulting
A Top NJ PR Firm’s Tips for Running Effective Meetings

by Mary Dickey, writer and media specialist at Caryl Communications

They’re the leading productivity killer in business today. Studies suggest the average employee loses 31 hours per month to them with more than 39 percent of attendees stating they “zone out” of them and 70 percent bring other work. And they cost 37+ billion dollars a year. We’re talking about meetings – unproductive meetings.

As a top NJ PR firm, we know that bringing people together is essential to good communications. So, how do you turn time-wasters into time well spent? Here are some ideas from our own experience and from expert sources like, and Forbes.

Twelve Steps to an Effective Business Meeting

  1. Set a specific goal for the meeting. Ask yourself what the end result should be.
  2. Create an agenda. Include the amount of time allotted to each discussion point. If you’d like an agenda template, download one at
  3. Determine who should be present. Invite only those for whom the meeting is relevant
  4. Circulate the agenda and give attendees time to prepare.
  5. Have you ever attended a meeting where the first 15 minutes were consumed by tech issues? Don’t let that be your meeting. Pre-check to assure that everything is set up and working.
  6. Get your remote attendees on the conference phone or Skype five minutes before the meeting starts.
  7. Begin and end on time. Don’t stop the flow of the meeting to bring latecomers “up to date.”
  8. Try to cap the meeting’s length at one hour. That’s about the length of your attendees’ attention spans.
  9. Manage the discussion. Don’t let a few voices dominate. Stay on topic. If an issue arises that is not immediately relevant, assign it to an “offline” discussion.
  10. Turn off technology. Phones and tablets are the biggest meeting distractors.
  11. Conclude with a summary of what has been accomplished and next steps.
  12. Follow up with a brief report to the participants.

Time Is Money: Consider the Cost of a Meeting

Our firm is always mindful of client budgets, that’s why we consider the expense involved in every meeting. We’re not talking about renting a conference space or catering lunch. We’re talking about the cost of an employee’s time. If you invite 10 managers to gather for one hour, how much in salary dollars are you spending? Try running the numbers with this cost of meetings calculator We think the result will inspire you to plan and manage your next meeting, so that your company or your clients get their money’s worth.

Find more tips about leading better meetings:

As a top public relations and marketing firm in New Jersey, Caryl Communications creates media campaigns to help achieve a client’s corporate, marketing and sales objectives. From creating and implementing a comprehensive PR marketing plan, including events of all kinds, to support for a client’s internal communication activities, Caryl Communications can promote news through so many new and exciting channels. Reach out to Caryl Gordon, president of Caryl Communications, at (201) 796-7788 or for more details or to set up an in-person meeting.

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