How To Make Meetings Better, Faster, And More Fun

We’ve found three big ways to make meetings more enjoyable and productive. You can thank us later.

How To Make Meetings Better, Faster, And More Fun
[Illustration: Dominic Owen]

Meetings can be one of the biggest time sucks in daily office life, but since we can’t eliminate them completely, we’ve found three big ways to make them more enjoyable and productive.


Improve collaboration in meetings by removing the chairs from the conference room. Researchers at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis used body sensors on two groups of participants and found that team members who stood were more engaged, less territorial about their ideas, and generated more creative results.


Begin by asking participants to share what they need to do or say to be fully attentive, says Dick Axelrod, coauthor of Let’s Stop Meeting Like This. One person might need a specific piece of information, another person might need to leave at a certain time, and someone else might just want to vent about being in meetings all day. “It’s a clean-slate drill that clears out the noise in everybody’s brains and helps them get ready to work,” he says.

More fun

Make meetings more engaging by making them all voluntary, suggests Axelrod. “Eric ­Lindblad, a vice president at ­Boeing, lets his employees make the decision to attend or leave a meeting early,” he says. “People are there because they want to be there, and he uses attendance or lack thereof to assess how well he conducts his meetings.”

About the author

Stephanie Vozza writes about business, productivity, and really cool people for magazines, websites, and companies. She is the author of The Five-Minute Mom's Club: 105 Tips to Make a Mom's Life Easier and the founder of, an ecommerce platform she later sold to FranklinCovey Products.