Want meeting participants to cheer? Start with the end result or outcome you want to achieve.

Meetings are challenging for most of us. There are just so many of them. Most are not well- designed or run. Many are boring. Some are actually painful.

But here’s the thing about meetings: You have the power to make them meaningful—and even awesome.

That's why we at Davis & Company create a lot of content to help you make meetings matter. Like this Smart Tip. And this infographic. And this other blog

For today, I’ll share one strategy that always works for me. It’s simple: When designing a meeting, start with the end result or outcome you want to achieve.

Too many of us think meeting planning as nothing more than a list of topics to cover. Lists are bad because:

  • Everything is on the same level. There’s no emphasis on what’s really important vs. what matters less.
  • A list is a collection of information. Meetings shouldn’t be about information or data; they should exist only to create action. For instance, let’s decide on X. Or create learning about Y.
  • If all you want to do to share information, choose a different channel.

If, on the other hand, you have a clear outcome in mind for your meeting, you’ll put your list aside and think about how to achieve your objective. Maybe you should focus on one topic, not seven. Maybe you need participants to brainstorm solutions. Maybe it’s not necessary to bring a big group of people together; a small team might be more productive.

You get the idea. Starting with the end helps you figure out the best way to design the meeting to reach your goal.

Not only will participants thank you (for creating an engaging experience), but you’ll get a lot further in less time. Now that’s a successful meeting.

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