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How to Set Priorities in Meetings for Successful Outcomes

Meetings without clear priorities can be likened to ships without compasses - they drift aimlessly, wasting everyone's time. The success of a meeting is often determined long before participants take their seats. Setting clear, actionable priorities is paramount for ensuring that meeting time is well-spent, objectives are met, and participants leave the room with a clear direction.

picture of a A diverse group of professionals collaborating in a boardroom, strategically setting priorities for their meeting.


The Pitfalls of Directionless Meetings

Lack of a well-defined agenda can lead to unproductive discussions, misalignment among team members, and prolonged meeting durations. When every topic feels important, teams may often find themselves sidetracked, discussing issues that aren't immediately pertinent. The result? Lost time, energy, and missed opportunities for meaningful collaboration.

Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Meeting Priorities

  1. Pre-Meeting Survey: Prior to the meeting, use a quick survey or poll to gather input from participants about what they view as top-priority items.

  2. Time-Boxing: Allocate specific amounts of time to each agenda item, ensuring that the most critical topics get the lion’s share of attention. For more tips on making meetings efficient, check out these 7 key tips.

  3. Begin with the End in Mind: Clearly define what a successful meeting outcome looks like, so you know which topics will drive that success.

  4. Empower a Moderator: This individual, equipped with tools like Verbally, can keep the discussion on track, ensuring that the set priorities are addressed.

  5. Revisit and Adjust: At the midpoint of the meeting, evaluate progress and adjust as needed. This ensures that the meeting remains flexible yet focused.

The Role of Digital Tools in Priority Setting

In today's digital era, tools play a pivotal role in enhancing meeting efficiency. Solutions like Verbally provide features such as a time-boxed agenda, ensuring that priorities are addressed within the set timeframe. Additionally, the speaker timer can help balance participation, ensuring that no single individual dominates the discussion, thus allowing priority items to be addressed collectively. Dive deeper into how you can supercharge your meetings with the perfect agenda for engagement here.

A picture showing Verbally, your virtual meeting assistant.

Key Benefits of Prioritizing Agenda Items

Clear Direction: Team members have clarity on what needs to be achieved by the end of the meeting. Enhanced Participation: With a structured agenda, every participant knows when to contribute, leading to balanced input. Time Efficiency: Meetings tend to end on time, fostering a culture of punctuality and respect for everyone's time. Learn more about the psychology behind effective meetings. Improved Outcomes: Prioritized meetings often lead to actionable takeaways, driving team momentum forward.

Conclusion: The Road to Successful Meetings

Setting priorities in meetings isn't merely a task; it's a strategic move that can transform the quality of team collaborations. With clear priorities, the right digital tools, and a collective commitment, every meeting can become a stepping stone to success.

Trusted partners like Omio, Uber, and DiscoEat effectively utilizing Verbally, the virtual meeting assistant, to enhance their meeting productivity and efficiency.


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