10 Techniques To Facilitate Meetings Like An Absolute Boss

Having a good facilitator is key to ensuring that your company meetings run smoothly. But what are the facilitation techniques that good meeting facilitators use – sometimes without realising – that make them so successful? What does it take to facilitate meetings like an absolute boss?

Read on to see our top ten tips for ensuring your meetings always produce your desired outcomes.

1. Get organised

The first issue with organising any meeting is getting all the right individuals together in the same place at the same time. It can be worthwhile to check that your allocated meeting room is kept free for you to use, and comes with any necessary presentation equipment.

Whether you’re holding your meeting offsite or in your company’s own headquarters, we recommend checking your room is free not just an hour before, but also a day before and even the week before. It helps to have as much notice as possible if there are any changes in availability, so all participants can be notified in advance.

2. Know your team members

Different personalities respond differently in meetings. Whereas some members of the group might seem to dominate the conversation, others may seem very reluctant to contribute. Consequently, it can be a beneficial exercise for any meeting facilitator to read up on different personality types. 

Thomas Erikson’s book, Surrounded by Idiots, will give you a decent overview of how different people feel and respond to situations. By learning about how people engage with one another, you’ll be able to intervene more easily as and when needed, enabling you to keep the group’s attention focused on the matter in hand.

3. Keep task focused

There is nothing worse, for either the meeting facilitator or any meeting participant, than to leave a meeting feeling that it was a waste of time and no issues were resolved. 

Keep an eye on the clock throughout your meeting. It can be a good idea to roughly plan how long you would like to spend on each discussion topic in advance, so you know when to guide the group onto the next. 

Having plenty of copies of the meeting agenda printed out in advance is wise. Attendees will not always bring their own with them, and having a copy to look at can help keep every individual on track.


Anybody can talk, but actively listening and responding appropriately is a real skill. When handling customer complaints, airline giant Emirates teaches all of their airline staff to LEAP. A similar approach can be beneficial when trying to resolve issues in a meeting:

L – Whenever an issue arises, listen carefully to everything that the complainant has to say. Do not interrupt them. It can really help to calm down people who might be annoyed or stressed if you just listen to their whole complaint. By giving them this opportunity, you will make them feel that you respect what they have to say.

E – Empathise. A good meeting facilitator is able to view a disagreement from all sides and fully consider and understand people’s different points of view. Tell them, “After listening to you now, I can see how ‘x’ is affecting you. If I were in your position, I think I might feel the same way.” 

A – Ask open-ended questions. Get as much information from them about the issue as possible. Questions that only require yes/no answers won’t work as effectively here.

P – Paraphrase what they have told you. Ensure that you have understood them correctly by repeating back their issue in your own words. If you have misheard anything, they now have an opportunity to clarify.

5. Set some ground rules

At the start of the meeting, it can be a good idea to lay down some rules. You might want to ask that nobody speaks for longer than five minutes if you’re working to a tight schedule, or maybe make it clear that questions should be held until after any presentations, or even emailed out after the meeting. 

6. Be approachable yet authoritative

One of the most important facilitation skills is understanding your own body language and knowing how to adapt it to different situations. If you have a tendency to sit with your arms crossed, or maybe to subconsciously frown a lot when you’re thinking, you might come across as more standoffish than you think. 

As a meeting facilitator, all attendees should feel comfortable enough to approach you with any issues. At the same time, you also need to know when to be stern enough to steer a meeting onwards, even if that means cutting another person’s speech short.

7. Have an agenda and keep to it

Write up a meeting agenda and send a copy to every participant as far in advance of the meeting as possible. This will give attendees a chance to properly consider any issues or potential solutions they might like to bring to the table.

If you need any particular person to plan or prepare anything, give them an outline of what you expect, and check on what they have prepared a week, a day and then an hour before the meeting itself, as needed.

8. Use group sizes to your advantage

If you’re facilitating a meeting with lots of attendees, it might be a good idea to spend part of the meeting doing group work. Small groups often work best. 

Teacher Mary Burns advises that group work should be conducted in groups of no more than five people, to help ensure everybody participates. Conducting exercises in this way can be especially good for team building.

9. Encourage participation

This might sound difficult if your participants seem particularly quiet or introverted, but it is important to make sure you create a space for every member to form an opinion, as well as voice it. Try allowing five to 10 minutes for everyone to consider their ideas and jot things down, before going around the room and asking for contributions from every individual. 

10. Keep on top of your admin tasks

One of the most essential meeting processes is ensuring that once your meeting is over, all of the minutes are accurately written up and distributed among all attendees and any senior line managers. Minutes should also be sent to those who could not attend the meeting.

Action points should be precisely communicated with everyone they affect. Make a note to cover these at your next meeting to see how well they have been actioned.

Some of these points might seem obvious to you, but hopefully they’ve given you food for thought. To further build on your meeting facilitation skills, try asking attendees at your next meeting to give you feedback on how they thought it went. You can set up a simple questionnaire using SurveyMonkey or Microsoft Forms.

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Rovva puts everything you need for your business in one place. From an accountancy helpline to a drop-in business lounge - we've got everything covered.