Learn more about Apollo 21

Tips for Including Only the Necessary Meeting Participants

You're scheduling a meeting that has a crucial goal and want it to go smoothly, so how do you make sure you accomplish the goal and everyone who needs to know does? There are several tips you can use to make the decision easier, which will keep teams smaller, more productive, and make the meeting easier to manage. Here are 5 simple tips to help reduce the number of people in a meeting.

The Meeting Notes Rule

This is a quick check to see if sending the meetings notes to the individual would be enough. If the answer is yes, then don't include them on the meeting and instead include them in the meeting notes after.

They may ask some questions in the email, and usually this is fine, especially if they are a stakeholder. This is asynchronous communication, and helps make sure they are connected to the outcome. If they are asking a lot of questions, it might be worth reaching out to see if they need to be included for the next one.

Creating an Attendee Limit

This one was popularized by Jeff Bezos, if you can't feed the team with two pizzas, you have too large of a meeting. Imposing this limit on yourself helps you think critically about who really needs to be there and who can fall in the meeting notes rule. If you are still running into trouble, a great way to handle this is our tip further down for Asking Leads for a Representative. This forces the team to think critically about who they send instead of saying include everyone.

Look for Who is Multitasking in the Meeting

Now this one is used during the meeting or after and is a great way of seeing if someone is actually getting value out of a call. Some tricks are to look for people constantly looking at their laptop or typing during the meeting if it's in person. If it's remote, look for screen flashes, or turned off cameras. Once you have a list of suspects, reach out to each one after the call. You can follow the guideline in the next tip.

Talk to Participants Afterwards

If you suspect someone might not be getting the most out of the meeting, reach out. I usually do this while walking back or in a direct message. The trick here is to not come across negatively, and instead be friendly. Say something like "Hey, How'd the meeting go for you? Would it be better if I just sent you a recap instead? I want to be respectful of your time, I know you are busy."

The person will appreciate you looking out for them, and while they may want to stay in the meeting initially, you've opened the door for them to let you know when they are no longer needed.

Ask Leads for a Representative

Teams usually ask for multiple people including the lead to join cross functional meetings. This can really bog down the leads time as well as create a standard for other teams to do so, and if they don't they will be outnumbered. To combat this, force teams to only send 1 representative each. This keeps the teams small, so the meeting is easier to manage. You can then send the meeting notes out to the larger team.

Follow these tips and you'll have smaller, more manageable, and productive meetings. For more meeting insights, subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date on Meeting Cost Calendar and meeting tips!

Subscribe for more updates and news
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.