Meeting Planning and Design

Do you feel you’re wasting 90% of your time in meetings—while the competition is barreling ahead?

Why meeting planning and design create high-performance teams—and how visual tools help create increased revenue streams.

If you ask most working people, they'll tell you they can't stand meetings.

They'll tell you they'd rather be working. Why? Because meetings waste time and money.

meeting-memo-001Here's a typical meeting scenario:

  1. Somebody decides to have a meeting.
  2. A vague agenda is created.
  3. An email goes to attendees.
  4. Participants arrive unprepared.
  5. People talk in circles.
  6. People leave frustrated without making progress





The result?

  • Time and money are wasted.
  • Problems and situations are not understood and addressed.
  • Goals are not reached.

So the question remains: Meetings are necessary, but how do you structure them to get more done in the same amount of time while increasing your bottom line?

Presenting the Ring Effect Meeting Planning and Design System

My system is a visually based approach that keeps meetings productive and on track in order to help reach goals.


People who attend the meetings say they love the visual tools; they find the process engaging and it helps them stay focused.

"Research has shown that visual language used in meetings shortens meeting times by 24%. Visual language aids the decision-making process; 64% of participants made decisions after seeing visual displays."

—Milly Sonneman, Hands•On Graphics

Using visual maps in your meetings

  • Sets a clear purpose and mission (orients the group to the process and the outcomes)
  • Fosters an environment of understanding and communication
  • Increases the ability to understand complex information and data
  • Helps work through difficult issues
  • Creates a common language (beyond just words) for talking about issues
  • Helps track progress, update others outside the meeting and plan future meetings

I spend a great deal of time working with clients before the meeting. One of the secrets of successful meetings is to understand the purpose of the meeting, decide who should attend and determine the desired outcome.

Next, I create an invitation introducing the visuals I'll use, which immediately sets a tone and feel for the meeting. I also send out questionnaires in order to gather information beforehand.

The meetings include ground rules and a structure in order to manage the meeting's energy level and pace.

Attendees love the large visual charts; they help them feel engaged, understood and heard. Nobody walks away frustrated.


This meeting planning and design system:

  • energy-001Saves time
  • Saves money
  • Engages participants
  • Increases clarity and focus
  • Balances different groups' needs by being fair to everyone
  • Improves trust
  • Decreases conflict
  • Helps resolve disputes and reach consensus
  • Increases learning
  • Makes meetings fun!

Key features and benefits

Meeting planning

Before the meeting I map out who will attend, what is to be discussed and what the expected outcome is. This step is often eliminated by internal (and external) meeting planners, costing time and money. By working with a meeting planner, you'll spend less time meeting and more time being productive.

Visual meetings

Standard meetings involve a lot of talking, causing a lot of miscommunication. Humans hear one in seven words. On the other hand, 40% of what we learn we comprehend visually. By adding a visual element, people feel heard and understood. Instead of a meeting that includes text-filled PowerPoint presentations, meetings using visual tools require attendees to contribute information, help form ideas and participate in creating solutions.

Impartial facilitator

Traditional meetings are conducted by people who are great at what they do (project managers, designers, operations managers, salespeople) but may not have the skills to lead a meeting. A facilitator can allow them to focus on what they do best and help the group work through difficult issues in order to achieve better communication, understanding and outcomes.

What else will you learn?

  • How visual facilitation boosts meeting productivity—and why it increases clarity, engagement and efficiency
  • Why meeting design increases revenues—and how carefully designed and run meetings give you more time to get things done
  • Why spending time planning a meeting seems like too much work—until you realize that meetings can be more efficient and productive
  • How meeting planning and design increase engagement with those least likely to participate
  • Why having an outside facilitator evens the playing field by balancing extroverts and introverts—and how visual tools allow everyone to be heard
  • How to capture all your great ideas and turn them into products or services (ideas quickly get lost without a way to record and flesh them out; visuals help combat that problem)
  • How to get the most out of each one of the six types of meeting participants
  • Why trying to hide the elephant under the carpet doesn't work

Isn't it expensive to have someone run our meetings when we can do it ourselves?

money smMake no mistake; meetings are expensive.

Let's say you and seven of your coworkers have a two-hour meeting. If the average annual salary is $45,000, the cost of salaries alone is $450. (This excludes lost revenues and other costs. For example, salespeople cannot sell when in a meeting; work time is lost preparing for the meeting; and there are costs for materials, meeting space and equipment.)

The annual cost is more than $23,000! Wouldn't you want to conduct meetings that result in time and money well spent?

The uniqueness of my meeting planning and design system:

My process increases engagement and productivity by 50% over traditional meetings.

Most facilitators use the same meeting planning process for every organization. They lack visual elements to help focus and clarify discussions, and many rush through points of contention in meetings, resulting in low levels of engagement among employees.

I use visual tools that make meetings focused and clear so the process increases engagement and productivity and creates high-performance teams.

Is your organization a good fit for meeting planning and design?

This approach is best suited for:

  • Small to midsized businesses
  • Groups of five to 250 people
  • Departments
  • Cross-functional teams
  • People who feel that they waste too much time in meetings
  • People who think there is a better way to have meetings
  • People who love "a-ha!s" and breakthrough moments

Call or email me an find out how you can turn unproductive meetings into meetings that employees not only want to attend but that also let you reach your goals—faster and easier than you thought possible.

We'll talk about:

  • What you find intriguing about this process
  • Where your organization is today
  • Why you think you need meeting planning and design help

We'll also talk about how the process works, and we'll see whether this resonates with you and your organization's goals.