Evaluating Meetings – Meeting Nightmares!

July 23rd, 2010 by Martin Smith Leave a reply »

Meetings seem to always be a hot topic of conversation on the web with quite a few comments on Twitter and other platforms about how dire they are etc. All this chatter got me thinking about some of the meetings that I had been in that had been well run and then some of the meetings that had ‘lost there way’ and not been very successful at all. Meetings are expensive and time consuming, yet we don’t often think about how much meetings are actually costing our businesses. How often have you stopped to think about the actual value that your meetings create? Of even if they were actually necessary in the first place. That then led me to start thinking about how we could be Evaluating Meetings from now on?

In my experience meetings can go wrong in several ways. Think about the last meeting you attended. Consider which of the following criticisms might apply:

  • The purpose of the meeting was unclear
  • A meeting was unnecessary to achieve the purpose
  • Some of the members had no reason to be there
  • Not all members knew who all the other members were
  • Some people who should have been there were not
  • The meeting suffered from a lack of leadership
  • No-one was taking adequate notes or minutes
  • The meeting was disrupted
  • People with important things to say were not given a proper hearing
  • The person in the chair talked too much
  • The meeting ran out of time
  • The meeting was allowed to go on long beyond the agreed finishing time
  • Several topics failed to result in decisions
  • Members felt their time was wasted
  • The costs (salaries, expenses, etc.,) involved in having the meeting were not justified by the results. (Have you ever stopped to think about the “cost” of the people sitting around the table?)

What nightmares would you add to this list?

All of the above (and I’m sure that there are many more) could be ways to evaluate our future meetings. Perhaps you could compile a quick post meeting questionnaire for attendees to complete before they leave or even quicker might be to do a quick review with a flip chart with a the attendees responding to a quick series of questions based on some of the above criteria.


Meeting Skills is one of many management skills programmes that we can help you with, either individually or for your company. To discuss how we might be able to help why not give us a call on 01273 358863 or email us at [email protected] for a no obligation conversation about your needs.


Martin Smith Learning and Development Ltd is a specialist consultancy working with leaders at all levels to improve their relationships with the people that they interact with both internally and externally to the company. We work with organisations, teams and individuals to identify how they can get the best from their people. We have experience spanning diverse industries and encompassing sectors such as engineering, design, customer service, finance, supply chain, sales and procurement.


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1 comment

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