What’s Your Meeting End Game?

How many purposes for a meeting are there?  Thousands probably.  What was the purpose for your last conference call?  Did you have a goal that needed to be accomplished?  Did you reach that goal?  So here's the "other hand," as much as got done, how many teleconferences have failed to meet the goal you set out for it?

Looking at the big picture, if you didn't reach your main goal, how effective was everything else that got covered during the meeting?  More important, how can you be more effective next time?  I read a post on WikiHow that answers just that very question.

Beginning with my favorite, (their fourth point), "Be clear about the purpose …" For me, I call it the "end game."  In other words, how do I want things to be after it's all said and done?  Let's say the purpose of your next conference call is to educate the sales staff on a new product that should increase revenues by 20%.  And that's the end game: the sales staff increases revenue by 20% with the new product. 

To make that happen with your conference call, we look at WikiHow's other points:

  • First, with your end game in mind, clarify and organize your ideas.  If it seems like too much, boil it all down to three main points for your presentation.  Build your presentation only with stories, facts, and ideas that support those points. 
  • During the conference call, keep those points at the forefront to stay on-topic.  Be alert to deflect any question, statement, debate, or whatever that could divert the meeting from the end game.
  • Then there is the excellent point number 8: Listen.  Yes, you are the one dispensing knowledge, but in listening, you can learn how much they are learning.  What points do you have to repeat?  Where is there a misunderstanding?  What, if anything, will keep you from reaching your end game?

So what is your word for "end game"?  If not mentioned above-or in the WikiHow article-how do you make sure to accomplish your conference call meeting goals?