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Better Meetings - Since 1965

Lest we think we know so much more than our predecessors here is some advice from a church manual from 1965 (how old were you?). It is another example of the wisdom that has been there for a long time, but we are just not that good at integrating it, and so have to be reminded again and again until it becomes a personal habit/expectation.

“Here are some suggestions that could be considered for improving efficiency in the planning and conducting of meetings:

  1. Be sure every meeting has a goal or objective and make every effort to achieve it.

  2. Prepare a well-considered agenda in advance containing a list of all items to be covered and the most desirable order for their consideration.

  3. Check in advance with all performers, speakers, or those who are to make reports to be sure they are prepared. For presenters:

    1. Be sure your message has one goal that can be clearly understood by yourself and your audience. Ask the question: “What do I want my audience or class to do as a result of this message?” Then make every sentence serve that objective.

    2. Be willing to devote adequate time to preparation. Some accomplished speakers say it takes 30 minutes to prepare for each one minute of speaking time when you are speaking for 10 minutes or more.

  4. Delegate to sub-committees, task groups, or others, the responsibility for recommending solutions to difficult problems so that larger groups can provide judgments and approvals without wasting time in unnecessary discussions.

  5. Start and finish on time. Determine the maximum length of committee and council meetings in advance and announce the objective time to all present. Don’t stretch the meeting out to fill the time. Close the meeting when the business is concluded.

  6. When it becomes difficult to make a decision, have all the facts presented and reconsider the problem again at a future meeting.

  7. Be sure that every presentation at a meeting is well planned and prepared and is presented in the most concise way possible. Few if any make a message or report more effective or penetrating by increasing the length of time spent in its presentation.”

Anything here that sounds familiar? Anything that sounds new to you? Good advice in any age. Now smile, feel a bit humble if you or your organization have not learned these lessons in the last 55 years. Don't beat yourself up, but go forward and have even better meetings (in person or online).


HVASF exists to reinforce intrinsic motivation, the foundations include values, self-efficacy, self-compassion, and self-esteem. I have created affirmations and related insights which you can learn more about on my website More recently I have partnered with artists to create beautiful art and affirmations and placed them on useful things like cell phone covers, my shop can be found here Have a great day - and if you want to see posts and updates please share your email, and check out my Facebook page, and if you think it could be a positive part of your life - like the page.

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