"That meeting could have been an email"
If you hear this often from your colleagues, then you probably should NOT have kept a meeting for it.
I'm here to help you avoid this situation forever.
Let's get started.
A meeting is unnecessary "IF"
If you are just sharing an update and you are not expecting real-time feedback from the participants. For example, you don't need a meeting to share what incident happened the day before during your on-call support.
If the key stakeholders / participants / decision makers are not available in the meeting, It needs to be either cancelled or re-scheduled. Because you won't end the meeting with a conclusion anyway.
If you are giving a product demo that doesn't require real-time feedback. You can just record it and send it to a slack channel and ask for input.
If you are asking for an update from others. Some managers like doing this but unfortunately, it is not an effective way and sometimes people don't like being asked in person. In this situation, a slack message or an email is appropriate.
If you simply haven't prepared anything before the meeting, it's probably a good idea to just reschedule it rather than doing it just because you sent an invite.
Some tips to keep in "mind"
Don't include too many participants of the same kind. For example, don't include all 6 developers in your team. You can have one key representative or just send the meeting minutes once it is over.
Always have a set of action items after the meeting and send those meeting minutes over email for their (and your) future reference.
Always have an objective for the meeting and know what you "want" from the meeting before you send the meeting invite to others.
Prepare for the meeting by keeping bullet points handy on your notes. Don't start thinking about what you have to speak during the meeting.
Give access to the excel / word / any other file to the participants before you start the meeting to avoid them asking you to share the link.
For a meeting with "N" minutes, prepare "2N" minutes for it.
Not all meetings need a "meeting minutes" email right after the meeting is over. It just makes them think you are proving that you are working more.
Try to send the meeting invite 2 days early. You will get the best time that works for them ( and you too 😉 )
If people are really not attending your meetings on time, then it's not a really bad idea to order a pizza. Funny but it increases the chances of them showing up. You want to get things done I believe 😅.
Before the meeting starts, you can explicitly mention that you will take Q&A at the end. This will avoid the participants to interrupt you if you are in a time crunch ⌛️.
Thanks for reading,