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Effective Meeting Design & Facilitation

2 Days Classroom Session
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This course can be tailored to your needs for private, onsite delivery at your location.

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Professional Credits


ASPE is an IIBA Endorsed Education Provider of business analysis training. Select Project Delivery courses offer IIBA continuing development units (CDU) in accordance with IIBA standards.


Select courses offer Leadership (PDU-L), Strategic (PDU-S) and Technical PMI professional development units that vary according to certification. Technical PDUs are available in the following types: ACP, PBA, PfMP, PMP/PgMP, RMP, and SP.

This course offers:
    1.00 PMP/PgMP Technical PDUs
    1.00 PMI-PBA Technical PDUs


This two-day course will give you hands-on experience with the latest proven techniques for designing and facilitating effective, focused meetings. Lively lectures combined with insightful demonstrations and realistic practice exercises will provide you with the competence and confidence to improve your meeting management skills. You'll gain a thorough understanding of meeting types, the challenges faced in meeting facilitation, and practical approaches for handling meeting (and team) pathologies. Make your project meetings into opportunities to build team cohesion, create buy-in from team members and key stakeholders, and most importantly get things done. Regardless of your organization's environment, you can't afford to miss this course!

Learn to align meeting designs with project or business requirements
Set the parameters of team and stakeholder expectations prior to meetings
Establish effective team behaviors in different types of meetings
Identify common meeting execution problems and deal with them in real-time
Learn to classify team member behaviors and respond to them in the most appropriate fashion
Make mundane meetings effective team-building sessions
Turn any meeting into an efficient problem-solving session
Teach team members to actively listen both in and out of meetings
Maximize your meeting's productivity with effective follow-up
Ensure meeting action items are accomplished on-time, on-budget, and right the first time
Upcoming Dates and Locations
All Live Online times are listed in Eastern Time Guaranteed To Run

There aren’t any public sessions currently scheduled for this course, but if you fill out the form below, we can tell you about how we can bring this course to you!

Course Outline

1. The Communications Model
Understanding the specifics of how communications take place can help you not only avoid common mistakes, but optimize your message for greater effectiveness and efficiency.

  • The Feedback Model - Use your knowledge of communications to aid understanding
  • Channels of Communication - Understand that you communicate at many different levels
  • Channel Conflict - What happens when the message sent at the different channels conflict with one another
  • Reinforcing Your Message Through Channels - If channel conflict detracts from the underlying message, ensuring channel congruence reinforces and enhances understanding
  • Choosing your Channels - Determine what channels of communication work best for you

Exercise: Reinforcing with Channels - Students will design a simple presentation that coordinates verbal, tone of voice, and body language channels of communication.

2. Effective Listening
It is not only the speaker who is responsible for effective communications. Listeners have responsibilities too, and they need to actively participate for effective communications.

  • Active Listening Techniques - Utilize attending skills, restatement, summarization, and open-ended questions to help a speaker get the message across
  • The Challenges to Active Listening - Understand where active listening can go awry, and what can be done to prevent it

Exercise: Active Listening - Students will take turns playing the role of an active listener to encourage the flow of information from a speaker.

3. Effective Feedback
Giving feedback can be difficult - for both parties. Know how to deliver feedback that gets to the point, stays on target, avoids diversions, and gets results.

  • Planning for Effective Feedback - Know the four elements that are a part of effective feedback
  • Delivering Feedback - Learn how to "script" your presentation in order to make it work
  • Dealing with Digressions - Nobody likes negative feedback; Learn how to deal with digressions and sidetracks

Exercise: Delivering Effective Feedback - Students will compose and deliver feedback messages for a variety of situations.

4. Types of Meetings
Different informational requirements demand different types of meetings. Learn the types of meetings, the different rules that apply to each, and how to set meeting expectations in advance.

  • Informational - Encouraging active listening in a meeting presentation
  • Discussion - Lead meetings that encourage and support participation from everyone
  • Decision - When to, and when not to, use group-decision meetings; Understand the role of decision meetings in team building and leadership
  • Emergency - Lead meetings that confront the emergency rather than point fingers and assign blame
  • Virtual Meetings - Use the technology wisely, while understanding the special pitfalls of virtual meetings
  • Conference Calls - Understand the how communication channels can work for, and against, you
  • Joint Application Development - When is it used and how will you use it?

Exercise: Choosing the Meeting Type - Students will evaluate when, and when not, to utilize each of the meeting types, and when a meeting is even necessary.

5. Meeting Design and Planning
If you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? Effective meetings require advance planning. Learn how to set the stage, line up your meeting logistics, and bring your entire team up to speed BEFORE the meeting even begins.

  • Meeting Logistics - Get the parts aligned — Where will you meet, when will you meet, etc.
  • Preparing the Agenda - Coordinate presentations, materials, and times
  • Inviting Participation - Differentiate between who needs to be at a meeting and who does not
  • Handouts and Readings - If it is important enough to discuss, should it be sent out in advance? Ensure that participants are ready in advance

Exercise: Creating the Meeting Agenda

6. Presentation Skills
Don't let simple delivery messenger mistakes divert your team's attention from the message. Hone your presentation skills for maximum message effectiveness.

  • Posture, Poise, and Presence - Reinforce your position as a leader using "stage presence"
  • Time Management - Keeping your presentation simple, focused, and straightforward
  • Handouts - When you do and do not use handouts; Rules and guidelines for handouts
  • Slides and Audio-Visuals - Overemphasizing the technology of the presentation can not only backfire, it can crash and burn; Drive the visuals, don't let them drive you
  • Communicating with the Non-Technical Audience - Acronyms and buzzwords may aid communications between tech types, but they are a formidable barrier for communicating with non-technical participants. Learn how to remove these barriers from your presentation

Exercise: Making a Presentation - Students will develop detailed presentation plans for various scenarios.

7. Facilitating Tools
Any meeting can end up stalling due to lack of participation. Learn how to avoid roadblocks, work your way through meeting block, and keep the creative process going.

  • Facilitating - Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of facilitating vs. leading a meeting
  • Negotiating - Reaching agreement can not only solve problems, it can build teams and reinforce leadership positions
  • Brainstorming - Encourage the possibilities and keep negative attitudes from derailing your meeting
  • Asking Questions: The Power of Open-Ended Questions - Asking the right sort of question at the right time can keep the creative process going

Exercise: Negotiating to No - Students will engage in impromptu negotiations to solve simulated meeting problems.

8. Conflict Resolution
Meetings involve people, and people often have different priorities and viewpoints. Learn the strategies for dealing with the Steamroller, the Know-It-All, the Sniper, and a host of other less-than-helpful meeting participants.

  • Meeting Pitfalls - What do you do when the right people are not on time? When people come unprepared? When time constraints are not honored?
  • Handling Difficult Participants - Deal effectively with the "Steamroller," the "Sniper," and a whole host of other"problem children"
  • Giving and Receiving Criticism - Criticism can result in growth, but not if it is poorly given or received; Learn how to structure criticism that solves the problem but doesn't hurt the receiver
  • Delivering Bad News - Bad news happens; How to deliver bad news in such a way that you don't complicate an already unfortunate situation

Exercise: The Combative Attendee - Students will take turns handling problem participants in a meeting environment.

9. Meeting Follow-up
Now that the meeting is over, it isn't really over. Follow up your meeting with techniques that ensure that your meeting's ideas and action items are followed up and implemented in a timely fashion.

  • Assigning Responsibility - Make sure you cover all the elements of assigning action items
  • Action Items - Using deliverables to ensure prompt and correct action
  • Documentation and Minutes - Nobody wants to do minutes, nobody wants to read minutes; Ensure that your minutes are done, done correctly, and followed up on in a timely fashion

Exercise: Including action items in Minutes - Students will prepare effective action item follow-ups to different types of meetings.

10. The Role of Meetings in the Communications Plan
Meetings are one of the major elements of any project. Learn how to build a communications plan that effectively utilizes meetings to communicate and satisfy the key stakeholders on your project.

  • The Project Communications Plan - What is a project communications plan and how does it support you in stakeholder management
  • Stakeholder Analysis - Determine how to manage different types of stakeholders
  • Meeting with Key Stakeholders - The role of negotiation and strategy in managing your stakeholders

Exercise: Evaluating Key Stakeholders - Students will apply stakeholder analysis to a range of stakeholders and determine the proper stakeholder management strategies for each.

11. Team Building through Meetings
Meetings can be more than communications vehicles - they can be positive leadership tools for building team cohesiveness. Learn how to take advantage of meetings to reinforce you and your team members leadership roles.

  • Opportunities for Team Building - Recognize when a team-building moment occurs and how to take advantage of it
  • Leadership Roles: Yours and Theirs - All teams have multiple leadership positions, both formal and informal; Use meetings to identify and assign leadership positions

Exercise: Designing the Team Building Plan - Students will identify possible leadership roles within their own teams, and how to bring the leadership potential out in their team members.

Who should attend

This course is designed to bring immediate benefit to individuals and teams for whom meetings are an integral part of operations. This course is perfect for:

  • Managers
  • Supervisors
  • Project managers
  • Team leaders
  • Program managers
  • Functional managers
  • Business analysts
  • Anyone in a team environment wishing to communicate more effectively and improve meeting performance