Have you ever conducted a business meeting and left the meeting feeling that you talked too much? And you didn’t give anyone else a chance to speak?
Of course, some people are natural talkers. They will talk and talk without knowing when to stop. But monopolizing your business meetings, or any meeting at all, is not good.
Your purpose is not to give a speech at a business meeting but to encourage participation and feedback. After all, it’s a meeting and not a ceremony.
Furthermore, people attend meetings to listen and to participate. They do not want to hear one person speaking all through the meeting because they will feel as if they are not part of the team and that their input is not valuable.
So, what will you do to make sure that you do not monopolize your meetings?
Obviously, less talking! But this is easier said than done. What happens if you talk less and no one wants to talk?
Don’t worry, these simple tips below will help you to stop monopolizing your meetings.
Know what you want to say
- Prepare notes on what you want to talk about the night before. Just as how it is important to prepare for a speech it is also important to prepare for a meeting.
- Time yourself, and make sure you stick to your time limit.
- Jot down answers to some of the comments that you think may arise based on the discussion topic. You don’t have to comment on all the issues, so resist the urge to do so.
Have a Clear Agenda
- When conducting a meeting have a clear agenda to guide you on the items that you will discuss.
- After preparing your agenda, distribute it ahead of time. You can also drop in on some of the people whose input you need; especially those who are always quiet. Ask them what they think about the topic and let them know that you are looking forward to their input.
- Conduct a question and answer segment to help focus their thinking. But first, make your audience feel comfortable and at ease so that when the questions and answers segment comes around they will not hesitate to participate.
Use a Round Robin Format
- If you really believe that you talk too much in meetings, use a round robin format. This way each participant in the meeting will get a chance to speak or to voice their opinion.
- The round robin format is a more comfortable way to get people who are shy to speak up because some people do not like to be called out in a meeting.
- Do not monopolize your business meetings. Give others a chance to speak. Yes, it can be a hard habit to break but with practice, you can improve.
- Prepare yourself and make sure that you encourage participation.
- Always make your meeting something that your team is happy to attend instead of dreading to attend.
Do you monopolize your meeting? Or have you ever attend a meeting and the person in charge talks too much?
Let us talk…