Many meetings consist largely of information giving. Much of it is irrelevant and could be delivered much more effectively outside the meeting.
This is the kind of meeting where you sit passively whilst people present at you. There is little role for the participant beyond listening. A best you then discuss the information or make a decision based on it. At worst it was just “for your information” and you never use it again.
My favorite is the huge spreadsheet with numbers so small you cannot see them and the presenter says “I know you cannot read this, but the pattern is interesting”. It very rarely is.
Here are some test questions to apply to these topics and meetings to see if they are worth including:
- what will the participants do differently as a result of this information? If nothing then don’t share it.
- who in the room is the information relevant to? If not everyone then call a smaller meeting
- can the information be shared in advance by text or other media so that the meeting can focus on the decision or discussion?
There are many tools available for sharing information asynchronously that do not require people to be at the same time in the same place. Use them outside your meetings and your meetings will become more interactive and engaging.