How to Run a Purposeful Meeting

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  • 0:03 Running a Purposeful Meeting
  • 0:40 Preparation
  • 1:57 Minimizing Distractions
  • 2:47 Setting up the Room
  • 3:11 Understand Your Role
  • 3:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Allison Simmons

Allison is a CPA and has a master's degree in accounting. She also taught undergraduate accounting.

The most effectively run meetings have a few common components of preparation and execution. In this lesson, you'll learn the key components and tips for running an effective and purposeful meeting.

Running a Purposeful Meeting

We all have been in disorganized meetings with little direction that adjourned with no action plans. These meetings are frustrating for the facilitators and the attendees. In this lesson, we will discuss how to run a purposeful meeting. A purposeful meeting is one in which all participants come prepared, remain engaged, and leave with an action plan.

In this lesson, we will discuss some questions you should ask yourself to prepare. Then, we will review some specific tools and tips that will help you make the most of your next meeting.


The key to running a successful meeting is preparation. The initial questions you want to answer to prepare are:

  • What is the objective or end-goal?
  • Who is attending?
  • What do you want the attendees to take away?

Once you have answered these questions, you can create an agenda, which will serve as a guiding document for you and your team to know what the meeting is about, what parties will be attending, and the end-goal of the meeting. Providing these details beforehand will enable the attendees to arrive prepared. A well-written agenda will allow the attendees to understand what will be discussed before attending the meeting and use it as a guide during the meeting.

Now, it is time to choose the best time and date. Generally, there are times you should avoid holding meetings. These times include Monday mornings, Friday afternoons, and any day after 4pm. These are times when your team members are likely to be distracted by preparing for the coming week or after-work personal plans. You should also consider what your team members have scheduled as well. If there is another large ongoing project, you may want to wait until those meetings have subsided (if possible).

Minimizing Distractions

When communicating or inviting team members, you may request that the attendees bring only a notepad and pen to help reduce distractions. However, if you do not feel comfortable making this request, you can also provide participant materials to help the attendees keep their minds on the topic at-hand.

As discussed, request that your team review any materials you provide beforehand and come prepared to ask questions. Not only will this help minimize distractions during the meeting, but it will also cut down on the time required to get your team up-to-date. Be sure to provide the presentation items to your team in adequate time for them to review the material. However, as you want the information to be fresh on the minds of your team, be sure to send the materials no earlier than a week prior to your meeting.

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