Meetings are a necessary evil to keep communications moving in any business and continue striving for growth. But do meetings really have to be long to get the job done? Do they really need to last an hour or more? Do you find that meetings become just a forum for people to provide a status of their to-do lists to justify themselves?

At my online marketing company VerticalResponse, anyone can view someone's calendar and see when the person is available in hour increments, which seems to make folks book an entire hour for meetings. In my opinion, for most meetings, that's way too long.

Keep It Short and Actionable

I want to underscore why I think you should pre-set most meetings to 30 minutes or less and have an agenda you send out prior. In 30 minutes you should be able to:

1. Prepare yourself for a fast-moving pace.
2. Make decisions on the spot, or commit to making the decision in a specific timeframe.
3. Get to the bottom of an issue.
4. Ask what you need to do to make your attendees successful.
5. Tell your attendees what they need to do to be successful.
6. Get what you want out of the meeting.

Meet adjourned.

Check out Business Meeting Etiquette: 8 Pet Peeves.

How do you keep meetings to 30 minutes? Or do you?

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