Commentary: Making meetings more expensive

In Seth Godin’s Blog post “Making meetings more expensive,” he speaks of hiring a meeting fairie whose job would be to do the following:

  • Getting precisely the right people invited, but no others.
  • Making the meeting start right on time.
  • Scheduling meetings so that they don’t end when Outlook says they should, but so that they end when they need to.
  • Ensuring that every meeting has a clearly defined purpose, and accomplishes that purpose, then ends.
  • Welcoming guests appropriately. If you are hosting someone, the fairie makes sure the guest has adequate directions, a place to productively wait before the meeting starts, access to the internet, something to drink, biographies of who else will be in the room and a clear understanding of the goals of the meeting.
  • Managing the flow of information, including agendas and Powerpoints. This includes eliminating the last minute running around looking for a VGA cable or a monitor that works. The fairie would make sure that everyone left with a copy of whatever they needed.
  • Issuing a follow up memo to everyone who attended the meeting, clearly delineating who came and what was decided.

After reading this, it makes you wonder, what if all businesses or organizations had people who were also in Toastmasters?  Would they need to hire an outside “meeting fairie”?  Would the Toastmaster become the offical “meeting fairie”?

These are the same skills that we are learning through Toastmasters as we work through our Competent Leaders manuals. 

  • One of my challenges is still getting the meeting started “On Time”! 
  • Our meeting themes set the tone for the meeting. 
  • Our club Secretaries issue the minutes after our club meetings so that we all know what went on and what decisions were made (if any). 
  • We always welcome our guests and try to pair them with a member to help them through the meetings.

If we are learning these skills, are we not in actuality making our companies and organizations more efficient? 

So are we Toastmasters, “meeting fairies”, or maybe we are both?  Whichever you decide, I say we are all on our way to becoming Competent Leaders!

Thank you for the commentary Seth!

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