How to end a meeting effectively (video transcript)

You’ve just spent the better part of an hour in a really good meeting. There’s been healthy debate, a ton of new ideas, and real openness around the table. But breaking up the meeting at that point can waste all the progress you’ve made.

Here are the right words to say to end your meeting properly.

First, you should reserve 10% of your meeting time for wrap-up, and not just putting five minutes on the agenda, and then blowing through it. I mean, set the timer on your phone, and stop mid-sentence when it beeps.

There are a few important things to get to. First, review the agenda items, and restate the outcome. Janet shared the brief from the ad agency, and we agreed to proceed with idea number two.

Next, make sure there’s a person who’s responsible for each action item, and a date for when it needs to be completed. Bruce will prepare the presentation for the executive on the new market data, you’ll send a draft to the team on Tuesday. Then agree on what you will communicate about the meeting. What are the key messages we want to share with our team? Is there anything we aren’t ready to share yet?

Finally, take 60 seconds to do a quick evaluation on the quality of your meeting. How did we do today? Were we talking about the right things? Was the discussion productive? Did we get to the outcomes we wanted?

Of course, the most important thing to say, is thank you. This is your chance to reinforce the kind of behavior you want to see more of. If your team is normally on their phones the whole time, but today they paid attention, say, thanks for really being present.

If the team is over cautious, and avoids uncomfortable discussions, say thank you when they really dig into an issue.

Don’t make the mistake of losing all the hard work from a good meeting, by dashing off without providing closure. Save 10% of your time to review action items, get aligned on messages, and to evaluate how you did.

Those are the right words to say at the end of a meeting.

More on this

8 Techniques to Make Your Meetings More Effective (Part I)

8 Techniques to Make Meetings More Effective (Part II)

End Your Meetings Properly