When you go into the kitchen to make an awesome meal or even just a passable one it's not enough to have all the right ingredients, you also have to have the right tools.
The same goes for working on your car - it's not enough to have the replacement parts, you also need to have the right tools to install those parts.
It's no different for your meetings. You can have all the best information, all the best charts, all the best documents, all the best flows, but if you walk into the meeting without the right tools, you've got the ingredients but no way to put them together.
Save The Date!
Finding meeting times that work for everyone can be a job in itself! Here are a few tools that help to streamline the process - all offer free and paid options:
Reach Out And Meet With Someone
Most companies have a tool that they prefer to use for conference calls (phone or video) and screen sharing, but when they don't - here are a few options for you:
Free (w/paid upgrade options):
Pro Tip: Schedule your meeting room/conference call connection 10-15 minutes earlier than the meeting, and pad the ending time if you can. This way you can get everything set up and tested before the meeting, and have time to wrap up after.
Show and Tell
Sometimes you need to demo something that you can't run from your desktop. Instead, you can place the device on a flat surface, attach a webcam to a tripod or boom arm, connect the webcam to your computer, and screen share the webcam feed from there. Here are some examples of the items you'll need:
- Get a webcam with a tripod mount, for example: the Logitech HD Pro C920: http://amzn.to/2rOOcmf
- Get a flexible tripod or boom arm to hook up to the webcam:
Prefer a software solution? We've got you covered there too!
Many devices have some kind of screen sharing or "mirroring" feature built in - so look there first. If there isn't something built in, you still have options:
Pro Tip: You might also want to toss a Chromecast (https://tinyurl.com/ocvguae) in your bag, in case that turns out to be the best option!
Supplies and Backups
- Bring extra copies of any documents or other handouts you plan to use to handle spilled coffee, extra attendees, etc.
- Pens, highlighters, markers, notepads - someone always forgets something. Minimize distractions by having extras handy!
- Mints/hard candy and water will help keep your voice strong - bring enough to share.
- Countdown clock or timer to help keep you on schedule - you can use a stopwatch, kitchen timer, or online solution like: http://teammeeting.co/timer or http://e.ggtimer.com/.
Sometimes The Best Meeting Is No Meeting At All
Using team collaboration tools/services on a daily basis can help minimize the number of meetings needed. Everyone on the team keeps the tool running, enabling everyone to collaborate easily, sharing resources and ideas quickly and effectively. No need to wait until you can get everyone together for a meeting to get answers or discuss ideas! Here are just a few of the many tools available:
- Slack: https://slack.com/
- Flowdock: https://www.flowdock.com/
- Skype: https://www.skype.com/en/
- Google Hangouts: https://hangouts.google.com/
- Basecamp: https://basecamp.com/
FYI: We do not receive compensation from any of the companies mentioned here, these are tools and solutions that we've used and liked. If you purchase anything from one of our Amazon links, we might get some small payment back from them. And when we say small, we mean really small. ;-)