How to End Meetings Like a Pro

Please cancel the meeting if you aren’t prepared.

4 meeting commitments:

  1. Respect time.
  2. Strengthen connection.
  3. Maximize talent.
  4. Do stuff. (Do things that are best done with others.)

5 questions to ask before the meeting:

  1. What’s the purpose of this meeting?
  2. Would it matter if we didn’t meet?
  3. Would people be disappointed if we cancelled the meeting?
  4. Who needs to attend?
  5. How will you measure the success of the meeting?

How to begin a meeting:

At the beginning of the meeting assign a person to end the meeting with a good word about the meeting.

  1. I’m glad we accomplished…
  2. I liked it when…

How to end meetings like a pro:

The peak-end rule applies to meetings. People remember peaks and ends. You can’t predict or control the peak moment of a meeting, but you can control the end.

Create a memorable moment at the end of meetings.

Last impressions are lasting impressions.

#1. End Early.

Develop a reputation for ending meetings on time or early.

How do you feel when the meeting ends early? Goes long?

#2. End with a speed round.

Don’t begin meetings by getting a few quick items off the list before you get to the meat. Begin with the meat.

“Quick items” at the beginning always take longer than expected. You end up rushing through important items. It should be the opposite.

Rule #1: No quick items at the beginning of meetings.

#3. End with accountability:

Everyone completes this sentence, “My next step is….” List one important action item.

The accountability sentence could be, “I will complete “X” before the next meeting.”

Rule #2: The chairperson or secretary records everyone’s action item.

Rule #3: Anyone who leaves meetings without action items doesn’t need to be in the meeting.

#4. End with a good word. (See above. How to begin a meeting.)

A good meeting begins…? Lousy meeting?

A good meeting ends…? Lousy meeting?

Bonus material:

How to Run an Effective Meeting (NYTimes)

What Makes a Great Meeting (Council of Nonprofits)