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SP 215 Small Group Communication Planning and Conducting Meetings. Too Many Meetings. There are more than 11 million business meetings in the U.S. every day. Most employees spends 15 hours per week in meetings. Most employees attend 60 meetings a month.

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SP 215 Small Group CommunicationPlanning and Conducting Meetings

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Too Many Meetings

  • There are more than 11 million business meetings in the U.S. every day.

  • Most employees spends 15 hours per week in meetings.

  • Most employees attend 60 meetings a month.

  • Many meetings are not productive or rewarding group experiences.

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Why Do People Dread Meetings?

  • The meeting was unnecessary.

  • The meeting wasted time.

  • The meeting didn’t use or follow an agenda.

  • ___________________________________.

  • ___________________________________.

  • ___________________________________.

  • ___________________________________.

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What is a Meeting?


A scheduled gathering of group members for a structured discussion guided by a designated chairperson

  • Scheduled

  • Structured

  • Chairperson (group member appointed or elected to conduct the meeting)

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PowerPoint Quiz

Which two group dialectics are particularly relevant when planning and conducting meetings?

  • structure ↔ spontaneity & leadership ↔ followership.

  • individual goals ↔ group goals & conformity ↔ nonconformity.

  • heterogeneous ↔ homogeneous & conflict ↔ cohesion.

  • engaged ↔ disengaged & open system ↔ closed system.

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The Need for Agendas


The outline of items to be discussed and tasks to be accomplished during a meeting

An agenda . . .

  • is an organizational tool.

  • helps members prepare for a meeting.

  • is a time management tool.

  • provides a measure of success.

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Elements of a Business Agenda

  • Purpose of Meeting and Names of Group Members

  • Date, Time, and Place of Meeting

  • Call to Order

  • Approval of the Agenda and Previous Meeting’s Minutes

  • Individual and Committee Reports

  • Unfinished Business

  • New Business

  • Announcements

  • Adjournment

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PowerPoint Quiz

When is the best time to address important and difficult issues in a meeting?

  • At the beginning of the meeting.

  • During the middle portion of the meeting.

  • During the last third of the meeting.

  • At the end of the meeting.

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Parliamentary Procedure

A systematic method for conducting a decision-making meeting in an orderly manner

Purpose of parliamentary procedure:To protect the rights of minority members while ensuring majority rule

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Basic Parliamentary Procedures

  • Main motion. A new proposal is presented to the group: “I move that we go to lunch.”

  • Seconding a motion. A main motion must be seconded before it can be discussed: “I second the motion.”

  • Amendments. A main motion can be amended by any member: “I move that we go to lunch at 12:30.”

  • Voting.After discussing the amended motion, it can be accepted or rejected: “All those in favor say aye. All those opposed say nay.”

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Chairperson’s Responsibilities

  • Pre-Meeting Tasks

    • Notify members and distribute materials

    • Prepare for meeting

  • During the Meeting

    • Begin on time and delegate minutes

    • Follow the agenda and facilitate discussion

  • Post-Meeting Tasks

    • Distribute the minutes

    • Evaluate the meeting and monitor assigned tasks

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Dealing with Loudmouths


Members who talk to much and deny other members opportunities to talk

How to deal with loudmouths:

  • Acknowledge that you understand their positions.

  • Interrupt loudmouths and shift the focus to other members.

  • Tell loudmouths the group needs input from everyone.

  • Assign loudmouths tasks (e.g., taking minutes) that shift them from talking to listening and writing.

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How to Deal with People Problems

  • Nonparticipants: ____________________________________________________________________________

  • Interrupters: ____________________________________________________________________________

  • Whisperers: ____________________________________________________________________________

  • Latecomers and Early Leavers: ____________________________________________________________________________

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PowerPoint Quiz

When members are late to a meeting, the chairperson should . . .

  • wait to start until all members have arrived.

  • review what has been accomplished whenever a latecomer arrives.

  • let latecomers sit without participating until they have observed enough to be able to contribute.

  • publicly reprimand latecomers.

  • assign latecomers tasks that no one else wants to do.

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Preparing The Minutes

The minutes of a meeting are . . .

  • the written record of a group’s discussion and activities.

  • legal documents as well as historical records of organization business.

  • a way to share proceedings with members who don’t attend.

  • a way to prevent disagreement over member assignments and group decisions.

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What to Include in the Minutes

  • Name of the group

  • Date and place of meeting

  • List the attending and absent members

  • Time the meeting was called to order and adjourned

  • Name of person preparing the minutes

  • Summary of group’s discussion and decisions including specific action items

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Taking Minutes

  • Write clear statements that summarize the main ideas and actions.

  • Word decisions, motions, action items, and deadlines exactly as the group makes them.

  • If in doubt, ask the group for clarification.

  • Attach the agenda and any reports to the final copy of the minutes.

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PowerPoint Quiz

In order to run a successful virtual meeting, you should. . .

  • begin a virtual meeting by reading the meeting agenda out loud.

  • invite more people to participate.

  • make sure that all members have access to the technology and know how to use it.

  • use technology you’ve used before so you don’t have to worry about testing it prior to meeting with the group.

    Deborah Duarte and Nancy Snyder

    Mastering Virtual Teams

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How Good Was Your Meeting?

  • How clear was the goal of the meeting?

  • How useful was the agenda?

  • How prepared were group members?

  • Did everyone have an equal chance to participate?

  • Did members listen effectively and consider different points of view?

  • Were assignments and deadlines made clear by the end of the meeting?