What is the best way to end a meeting? There's no single right answer; it’s a matter of practice.
Closing a meeting can be tricky. Maybe you can't find the right words or you don't know how to end a meeting. It shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes.
In this blog, we'll help you figure it out, ensuring you won't have any problems in your next meeting.
Benefits of Ending a Meeting Properly
Having a clear schedule to follow at the end of the meeting agenda is helpful and necessary to ensure that time is used efficiently.
Prolonging a meeting unnecessarily can drain your team's time, energy, and resources, and may even dampen team spirit.
Properly ending a meeting can significantly boost its overall effectiveness. The final phase of a meeting is beneficial for the following:
- Enhancing the meeting's impact: A well-executed conclusion highlights the meeting's objectives and sets forth clear future steps, thus maximizing its impact.
- Boosting team morale: Ending a meeting efficiently shows participants that their time is both respected and valued, contributing to a positive workplace environment.
- Optimizing meeting closure: Concluding a meeting at the appropriate time allows everyone to leave with a positive view of what the group has achieved.
(1) Include Closing in the Agenda
When drafting your meeting agenda, be sure to include a designated wrap-up section. The agenda acts as a roadmap for the meeting, clearly outlining the planned topics and discussions.
By proactively including a closing segment in this outline, you ensure that this crucial part of the meeting is not overlooked. It also helps in allocating adequate time for a structured and effective conclusion.
This foresight prevents the common pitfall of meetings running over time or ending abruptly without a proper close.
Closing Remarks (2 minutes)
- Summary of action items
- Confirmation of the next meeting date
(2) Review Key Concepts
This step is pivotal as it reinforces the main points and decisions made during the session. Start by revisiting the meeting's objectives, highlighting the significant takeaways and critical ideas discussed. A brief summary of these elements helps remind attendees of the meeting's progress and outcomes.
Utilize the agenda as a guide to ensure all desired outcomes and tasks listed were addressed and accomplished. This review should be concise, ideally taking no more than five minutes, to maintain clarity and focus.
This approach ensures that every point is adequately covered and that the meeting concludes with a clear understanding of what was achieved and what next steps are necessary.
- Let's briefly go over the main takeaways from our discussion.
- To sum up, we’ve talked about…
- Here’s a quick overview of the significant ideas and decisions we made today.
(3) Leave Time for Questions
As the meeting draws to a close, it's essential to invite questions from participants. This practice helps clarify any presented information and encourages active participation.
Tailor your approach to the nature of the meeting: in a business setting, for instance, it’s beneficial to ask if attendees have additional points to contribute, fostering an environment open to further discussion.
- What questions do you have for me?
- Are there any aspects of the presentation that need further clarification?
- Does anyone have anything else to add?
(4) End With the Next Steps
Effectively ending a meeting, which is a good skill for any meeting organizer, means clearly defining the next steps.
It's beneficial to detail the specific tasks each participant or department is responsible for, taking into account the scale of the meeting's agenda.
Seize this moment to ensure all attendees are on the same page about the details of future meetings, including crucial information like the date and location.
A key to maintaining accountability is sending a succinct yet comprehensive meeting recap. This recap should highlight the main goals of the meeting, the decisions reached, the assigned action items, the key discussion points, and the schedule for the next meeting.
If you don't have time to summarize all the information, don't worry; just use Wudpecker. It will help you thanks to its automatically AI-generated meeting notes.
Conversations must translate into action through specific tasks assigned to individuals with clear deadlines.
- What specific actions will we take by our next meeting to ensure improvement?
- Before we wrap up, let's review the next steps and ensure everyone is clear on their assigned tasks and deadlines.
- 'Carlo, your task will be to coordinate with the venue and confirm our reservation for the chosen date, which is June 15th.'
(5) Thank the Attendees
As you conclude, repeat your thanks to the meeting attendees for their engagement and contribution.
Demonstrating appreciation in this way fosters positive team dynamics, showing participants that their presence and input are valued.
Depending on your personal style, management approach, and the organizational culture, you might also consider incorporating gestures like handshakes or light-hearted comments while closing the meeting, as a way to reinforce your appreciation and leave a lasting positive impression.
- It was a pleasure meeting all of you today, and I thank you for your contributions.
- I would like to thank everyone for coming today.
- Thank you for your active engagement and thoughtful input during our meeting.
(6) Encourage Meeting Feedback
At the conclusion of your meeting, seeking feedback is not always realistic, but it could be necessary in some situations, such as when you're launching a new project or implementing significant changes.
This process enables hosts and organizers to determine whether the objectives of the meeting were achieved and to gather insights into attendees' perspectives.
Encourage immediate feedback by asking participants at the meeting's end if they have any comments to share.
- Before we wrap up, I'd love to hear any immediate thoughts or feedback from you all.
- Your input is invaluable to us. Feel free to share any comments or suggestions you might have.
- If anyone has any reflections or points they'd like to share, now is the perfect time.
Additionally, to allow for more thoughtful responses, consider distributing a follow-up survey post-meeting. This gives team members the opportunity to reflect and provide more detailed feedback at their convenience.
Things to Avoid When Closing a Meeting
Closing a meeting effectively is as important as conducting it.
However, there are certain expressions that should be avoided in order to maintain professionalism and effectiveness, such as:
1. Vague Statements: Avoid closing with ambiguous statements like "We'll see what happens" or "Hopefully, things will work out". These do not inspire confidence or clear action.
2. Demotivating Remarks: Statements like "I doubt this will make a difference" or "Let's hope we didn't waste our time" can deflate team morale and undermine the meeting's purpose.
3. Disrespectful Comments: Phrases like "Well, that's enough for today, let's get out of here" or "Finally, this meeting is over" can trivialize the importance of the meeting and show disrespect to participants.
4. Unrealistic Expectations: Avoid comments that unduly pressure attendees, such as "I expect all these issues to be resolved by tomorrow" or "Don't disappoint me/us". These can create unnecessary stress.
5. Ignoring Next Steps: Closing without mentioning next steps or follow-ups, such as "That's it, we're done" without any summary or action items, can lead to confusion and lack of direction.
In this blog, we've delved into the nuances of how to end a meeting effectively.
We've learned that the conclusion of a meeting is not merely a procedural step but a crucial moment that encapsulates the essence of the entire conversation. It's an opportunity to bring clarity and foster commitment among meeting attendees, ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
As you deliberately close your meeting, prioritize these key actions:
- Emphasize the main points discussed today, making sure that key takeaways are clear to all participants.
- Revisit the meeting notes, ensuring that all action items are assigned to specific persons with clear due dates, and any loose ends are addressed.
- Show appreciation to your meeting attendees, acknowledging their contributions and bolstering team morale.
Ending a meeting properly is more than just saying goodbye; it's about wrapping up the current topic efficiently, setting the stage for what's next, and leaving your attendees feeling engaged and valued.
Remember, the way you end a meeting can leave a lasting impression and pave the way for ongoing productivity and collaboration.
How do you end a meeting in a fun way?
When concluding a meeting, it's beneficial to end on a positive note that boosts team morale and leaves meeting attendees feeling energized. Here's how you might do it:
- Fun Recap Activity: Wrap up by summarizing the key points discussed today in an engaging way. For example, you could ask each participant to express one key takeaway from the meeting in a single, creative word or phrase.
- Appreciation Moment: Show appreciation for the meeting participants by having a quick round where each person shares something they valued or learned from someone else during the meeting. This not only fosters a sense of team closeness but also reinforces the importance of everyone's contributions.
- Next Meeting Teaser: Build excitement for future meetings by giving a playful hint or teaser about the next meeting’s agenda or a fun activity planned for it.
- Creative Closure: Encourage participants to briefly share how they plan to de-stress or relax after the meeting, tying it back to the importance of work-life balance.
What is an example of a conclusion of a meeting?
As the organizer of today’s meeting, I want to thank each of you for your active engagement and the valuable ideas discussed. To conclude properly, let’s recap: We’ve assigned specific tasks to [mention specific persons], with a due date of [specify due dates]. Please check your email for a summary of today’s meeting notes and key action items. Our next meeting is scheduled for [mention the date], where we'll review our progress and discuss the current topic further.
Finally, I appreciate your time and efforts today. Let’s continue to work closely together to ensure our project’s success. Remember, your contributions are crucial for our team's progress. Have a great rest of the day, and I look forward to seeing you all at our next productive meeting!
Thank you for participating in our recent meeting. We continuously strive to make our meetings productive and engaging, and your feedback is vital in this process. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey.
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Meeting Agenda and Structure
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Key Takeaways and Next Steps
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Please provide any other feedback or suggestions that can help us improve future meetings.