VAT: Effective Meetings

The standard format for an organizational meeting is a presentation followed by a question and answer session. Perhaps a better format is to dispense with the presentation as it can be distributed to meeting participants before the meeting for their review. Then, the meeting is solely a question and answer session where only participants with questions and answers attend. This format avoids wasting the time of uninterested participants. As well, in information exchanges, we engage someone’s attention when answering their questions; otherwise, when we are talking to someone unsolicited, their attention often drifts elsewhere.

Moreover, by not asking questions, the participants are implicitly agreeing with the proposals put forth in a presentation. That encourages them to read the presentation.