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Meeting Excellence: 33 Tools to Lead Meetings That Get Results Hardcover – February 3, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Parker and Hoffman have delivered a long overdue guide to one of the most troubling events in organizational life--the meeting. They have captured the essence of the meeting and guide the reader on a journey to meeting excellence by providing tools, tips, and techniques that take us well beyond anything done so far. I highly recommend this book to every leader at every level in every organization."
--Dick Kropp, vice president, human resources, Cape Cod Healthcare

"With staff located in offices throughout the world, our organization is continually facing challenges in communicating and coordinating activities. Making the most of our virtual meetings and squeezing every possible benefit out of the few face-to-face gatherings we have is critically important to the success of our operations. Meeting Excellence is a superb resource for all managers seeking to make their staff gatherings as effective and productive as possible."
--Nathan Grey, national vice president for international affairs, and special assistant to the CEO of the American Cancer Society

"Whether you lead, facilitate, or participate in meetings, this book by Parker and Hoffman is packed with extremely useful and often novel tips and techniques to make your experience before, during, and after meetings more productive and enjoyable. I'm confident that the more readers use these authors' practical insights, the less complaints they will have about their own meeting experiences."
--Joe Toto, director, leadership development and learning, Becton Dickinson

"Meeting Excellence is what millions of managers around the world have been seeking--a clear, powerful tool box for planning and facilitating effective meetings. This book will assuredly save your organization countless hours of wasted, frustrating time that it presently spends in unproductive, boring meetings."
--Michael J. Marquardt, president, Global Learning Associates

"Every person who leads meetings should have a copy of Meeting Excellence. The tools--which cover just about every aspect of preparing for, facilitating and following up on a meeting--are brief, practical, and easy-to-use. I recommend it without reservation."
--Michael Doyle, coauthor, How to Make Meetings Work

From the Inside Flap

In today’s competitive business world, people at all levels of an organization are spending more and more time in meetings. However, many participants are becoming frustrated and dissatisfied when they attend meetings that are poorly run, directionless, and ultimately a waste of time.

Glenn Parker and Robert Hoffman have written the definitive handbook for conducting quality meetings. Whether your next meeting takes place in a small conference room with team members, via a teleconference with people from around the world, or at an off-site location, Meeting Excellence provides the tools you need to ensure that your meeting will be both efficient and productive.

Meeting Excellence is a comprehensive resource that provides a wide range of ready-to-use tools that have been developed and tested by a meeting initiative within Novartis Pharmaceuticals. It is based on years of research observing team meetings, examining existing meeting documents, and conducting a number of intensive individual interviews in the U.S. and Europe. This important book offers the information and tools needed to prepare, facilitate, and follow up on all your meetings. Step by step, Meeting Excellence shows how to

  •   Create an action-focused meeting agenda
  •   Ensure that everyone participates in discussion
  •   Deal with disruptive and inattentive people
  •   Develop a climate of trust among meeting participants
  • Create and deliver effective meeting presentations
  • Stay on track to achieve your meeting goals
  • Achieve clear communication during a multicultural meeting
  • Liven up a dreary and unproductive meeting
  • Close your meeting on an upbeat and positive note
  • Get action on team action items
  • Improve meeting communications with line management
  • Evaluate your meeting quickly and effectively
  • Choose among various web-based meeting tools

In addition, Meeting Excellence is filled with specific suggestions and templates that can be used immediately to improve the planning, facilitation, and closing of your next meeting.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass (February 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787982814
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787982812
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,588,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jack Lerner on November 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Meeting Excellence is an extremely useful book. As its sub title suggests, Parker &Hoffman have consciously chosen to give their readers a toolkit versus a tome. They're smart for going that route and have, in my view, done a terrific job. Few organizations make meeting facilitation a priority - hence we don't see many meeting leaders getting very good at it. But for those who have the self awareness and the self interest for improving their productivity, this book is a must read. What's useful is that the book is written in an extremely readable style and organized in a format that works well for the novice meeting leader as well as the pro. They cover the landscape from ice-breakers to ensuring post meeting effective action and include vital tips on handling the land mines associated with tele/video-conference meetings as well. They even have a fun, short piece on integrating food into the meeting leading strategy. And although committed to the micro- toolkit approach, Parker &Hoffman are smart in recognizing that there's also a big picture to this challenge and have included a brief but excellent Fast Company article called: The Seven Sins of Deadly Meetings. It helps the reader frame the challenge and puts the toolkit in a helpful context. All in all Parker and Hoffman have made an excellent contribution to the noble and worthy cause of making our meetings less deadly and less sinful.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I wanted a roadmap for improving the effectiveness of the meetings I run at work. This book doesn't help much with that. It is filled with well-intentioned platitudes on how to deal with hostile participants ("remain calm"), resolve conflict ("be open to alternatives"), keep participants on track ("get serious about agendas"), and how to end meetings ("thank the members"). Most of the book's content is just basic common sense, not valuable advice from meeting gurus.
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Format: Hardcover
Hoffman and Parker have produced a high quality piece of work by coming up with pragmatic, clear and practical book on effective meeting management. This easy to read and use book is among the best on the market on meeting design, facilitation and management.

After reading this book, the reader will realize that meetings need not be just a nuisance and total waste of time and resources, but can be a very effective tool for the success of an organization if it is effectively managed.

All in all, the authors have offered solid and timely advice to help managers ensure that meetings presentations are professional and effective, everyone participates in the discussion, conflicts are effectively resolved, the meeting is kept lively, there is focus on achieving meeting goals and managers can choose among several internet based meeting tools, among other benefits. A very useful book that is well worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Meeting excellence - The name says it all. I've been working in the field of Management consulting and education for over 30 years and have not come across another book as practical, clear, and frankly useful as Meeting Excellence when it comes to planning, facilitating or following up on meetings where it's important to have the entire group engaged and involved.

Parker and Hoffman have put together not only a framework for planning, executing and evaluating meetings, but have organized it in such a way to make the topics accessible to any one, whether experienced or novice at meeting management.

The subtitle "tools" is accurate. As a framework and comprehensive "toolkit" Meeting Excellence functions extremely well. As a reference for specific topics related to meeting planning and facilitation I know of no other resource as well organized and well written. Specifically, the 33 tools cover meeting issues such as how to prepare an action agenda, how to open a meeting, conduct a teleconference, facilitate a video conference, communicate in a multicultural meeting, make effective decisions, liven up a dreary meeting, close a meeting on a positive note, prepare meeting notes and follow-up on meeting outcomes. These areas are especially important today, when most of a manager's, executive's or individual contributor's time is engaged in meeting attendance or facilitation.

I can easily and assuredly recommend this book for anyone who leads any meetings where discussion, decision making, implementation, change or projects and initiatives need capable, clear and effective leadership. In other works, this book will be valuable to anyone involved in meetings at any level.
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Format: Hardcover
This book contains the simple groundrules or tools for effective meetings. I have used these tools to keep meetings short and crisp or I have applied them to longer term projects that required long meetings. Using the tools in Meeting Excellence, I have been able to keep the teams focused and productive. In this era of multi-tasking and ever decreasing lead times, short, focused and productive meetings are key to achieving our corporate goals.
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