5 questions you should ask before holding a meeting

Bernd Geropp with 5 questionsLots of managers spend 50 % of their time at work in meetings.

You know it. I know it:
Many meetings are just a waste of time. They are boring, they don’t serve a purpose. They just suck!

Let’s get rid of these boring mind sucking meetings. If you want an effective meeting you need to answer 5 crucial questions before you hold the meeting.


Watch this video to understand the 5 crucial questions:

1. Do you really need a meeting?

Before holding a meeting, ask yourself: Do we really need that meeting? Is it possible to achieve the same result with an e-mail or a short telephone call? If yes, don’t call for the meeting.

I can get mad on people who think:

“I don’t really feel like doing any work today, let’s call a meeting!”

If there is nothing to discuss: Don’t have a meeting!

2. What is the purpose?

Be specific and write it down. What do you want to achieve with the meeting? Is the purpose only to provide information? Are you planning to discuss certain topics and to develop ideas?

What decisions should be taken in the meeting? A meeting has always to be result oriented. Be crystal clear about the desired outcome!

3. Who should attend the meeting?

The meeting should hold value for anyone invited to it. Time is money. If you invite people to the meeting who don’t deliver value or don’t get value out of the meeting: Don’t invite them!

4. Do you have an invitation and agenda?

Clearly outline what the objectives are and how you expect participants to prepare. For each topic plan a separate agenda item with a description of the objective and schedule the time for it. Don’t overestimate what you can do in the meeting.

5. How long will the meeting last?

Be precise with your timing and planning. When will the meeting start and when will it end? As a rule of thumb: For most of the meetings: Don’t go for more than 1 hour.

Set times for each topic and during the meeting stick to the time table! Most important: Start and end on time! Always!!!


  • Bernd,
    These are all really good ones, especially number one. I’ve been to some very productive meetings in my time, but there are a lot fewer of those than people seem to realize.

    • Heather,

      Thanks for your comment.
      Yes, I know what you mean. I hated it when I was forced to attend unproductive meetings back in my corporate job.