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This glossary describes terminology and acronyms related to meetings and all the activities we do in those meetings. We've gathered this information from far and wide, so enjoy! And hey — if you have corrections or additions, please don't hesitate to contact us!

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1

The 1-2-All is a facilitation technique that allows larger groups to generate questions, suggestions, and solutions all at the same time, making sure all participants have an opportunity to contribute. The meeting... more

2

The 2x2 Matrix is a decision support technique where the team plots options on a two-by-two matrix. Known also as a four blocker or magic quadrant, the matrix diagram is a simple square divided into four equal quadrants... more

4

The 4 Question Meeting is a technique for clarifying and communicating the meeting purpose. Attributed to American Express, people using this technique will answer these questions in the meeting invitation. What is... more

The 4Ls technique is a brainstorming technique for collecting feedback on a recently completed project or piece of work. People in the meeting are asked to brainstorm feedback in four categories: things they Liked,... more

5

The 5 Second Rule (as it's used in meetings) is a facilitation technique where you ask a question then wait a full 5 seconds before moving on. Once you get to 4 seconds, the silence becomes a little uncomfortable. It's... more

The 5 Whys is a technique used to determine the root cause of an issue. By repeatedly asking the question “Why” (five is a good rule of thumb), you can discover symptoms which may lead to the reason a problem exists.

A

Accessible software is designed to work for people who experience disabilities, such as visual, hearing, motor, or cognitive impairments, and who may access software using an assistive device. Lucid Meetings strives to... more

Accountability is the acknowledgment of responsibility for getting things done and then reporting back to the group about results. Leaders encourage accountability in meetings by: Ensuring participants actively engage... more

Action items describe a discrete task that must be accomplished, usually by a single individual. Action items have a limited scope that can typically be accomplished in one to two weeks. The standard format for action... more

Activity modeling is a method used to illustrate how a system works. In an activity modeling workshop, the group works together to outline a sequence of steps and the component pieces involved in creating a behavior or... more

An affinity diagram organizes a large number of ideas into related sets. Groups often create an affinity diagram as the second step in a brainstorming session. After everyone adds their ideas, the team looks at the... more

An After-Action Review lays out a structured de-briefing process for analyzing an event. Participants discuss what happened, why it happened, and what can be done better in the future. After-Action Reviews were... more

The agenda is the version of the meeting plan shared with meeting attendees. A meeting agenda may include a list of topics to discuss, a sequence of planned activities, or both. The simplest agendas are formatted as a... more

Agile is a time boxed, iterative approach to work designed to deliver results incrementally from the start of the project, instead of trying to deliver everything all at once at the end. The agile methodology relies on... more

AGM stands for Annual General Meeting: A meeting of the general membership of an organization. AGMs are held by membership associations and large companies with shareholders according to the rules spelled out in the... more

Appreciative Inquiry techniques seek to build on the positive outcomes, successes, and highlights in a situation instead of focusing on how to counteract negative forces. Practitioners recognize that people are... more

Argument Mapping is a technique for graphically breaking down and showing the reasoning (or argument) behind a statement. In a meeting, groups can use Argument Mapping to explore the underlying assumptions behind a... more

Attendance is the act of being present (at a meeting or event, etc.). Attendance is often tracked and reported in meeting records. For some meetings, a predetermined percentage of participants (called a quorum) must be... more

Automated review is a feature in Lucid Meetings that allows meeting participants to view a compilation of action items or notes together in a meeting. For example, a facilitator could set up the last agenda item to... more

B

Organizers seek to achieve balance in meetings by ensuring people representing differing opinions, perspectives, and interests all have an opportunity to participate. Balance is a requirement for many non-profit and... more

A Board Meeting is a formal meeting of the board of directors of an organization and any invited guests, held at definite intervals and as needed to review performance, consider policy issues, address major problems... more

A board portal is a secure software application or website designed explicitly for the purpose of facilitating communication between directors and the company. The current generation of board portals supports... more

Braindumping refers to brainstorming written down. The term can be used to describe a solo activity, where one person writes down all the ideas they can think of individually, or a group activity where one person writes... more

Brainstorming is a group technique formalized by Alex Osborn in 1939 as a way to generate a lot of ideas quickly in response to a specific problem or question. Traditional brainstorming involves multiple people calling... more

Brainwriting is an idea generation technique where participants write down their ideas about a particular question for a few minutes without talking. Then, each person passes his or her ideas to the next person who uses... more

Breakout groups are used as a large group discussion technique designed to increase participation. During a large meeting or workshop, the facilitator may assign the group to work in smaller teams to answer a question... more

C

A meeting cadence is a pattern of regular team meetings. Short, frequent meetings increase a team's work momentum. Groups that provide oversight, such as boards and committees, hold longer meetings less frequently.

Causal Layered Analysis (abbreviated as CLA) is a group sense-making technique used to explore the underlying causes and worldviews contributing to a situation. Working together, groups made up of people representing... more

The chair (also chairperson, chairwoman or chairman) is the highest elected officer of an organized group such as a board, a committee, or a deliberative assembly. In formal meetings, the chair is responsible for... more

Challenging Assumptions is a sense-making technique designed to break apart a statement and discover where assumptions may be limiting your options. There are several ways of leading a group through an exercise designed... more

Facilitators and meeting leaders use a meeting checkpoint to keep the group focused and on topic. To conduct a checkpoint at the end of an agenda item, the facilitator will quickly recap what the group just accomplished... more

Cognitive Biases are mental shortcuts we each make to help us make decisions in the face of ambiguity, overwhelming options, and limited time. Researchers believe cognitive biases have evolved so we can make mostly-... more

Collaboration is a working practice whereby individuals work together to a common purpose to achieve a mutual goal or business benefit. Team meetings can be designed to encourage collaboration by providing opportunities... more

A committee consists of a named subgroup of people within an organization who come together to fill a predetermined function. A committee's work is described in its charter and is often conducted in a series of meetings... more

In a complex decision-making situation, there is no obviously correct choice. Instead, there are multiple answers that warrant further experimentation before committing to a single approach.

Teams may use a compromise approach to making a decision when they can't agree on a single answer. The facilitator helps the team identify all points that they agree on to form the basis of the decision. Then, focusing... more

Concept mapping is a technique for graphically organizing and representing knowledge. The maps include concepts, usually enclosed in circles or boxes, and relationships between the concepts indicated by a connecting... more

A conference call is an audio call in which multiple participants all join the same call at the same time. Most commonly, people join conference calls by dialing a shared conference number on their phones. In recent... more

A conference room is a dedicated space for events such as business conference calls and meetings.

Connectivity describes the ability of individuals to connect to the Internet using computers and mobile devices. Connectivity problems are more noticeable and have a greater negative impact on online meetings than on... more

Consensus is a decision-making approach that seeks to secure the support of the whole group for the decision at hand. Many people believe that consensus is the same thing as unanimous agreement, but this is not... more

A consent agenda is a technique for addressing multiple topics in a single agenda item, such as committee reports, meeting minutes, and other items that don't require discussion. Boards and committees use a consent... more

Conflict is when there is some form of friction, disagreement, or discord within a group. Conflict can arise when people perceive opposition to their ideas, values, or opinions. Many meetings are designed to encourage... more

A consulting decision-making meeting involves a group that provides information and advice to one or more designated decision makers. The appointed decision maker(s) then take responsibility for making the final... more

The classic structure for group decision-making meetings includes these phases: Diverge -> Emerge - > Converge. Convergent thinking is the opposite of divergent thinking. Instead of creating a lot of new ideas,... more

Creative Problem Solving (CPS) is a method that attempts to approach a problem or a challenge in an innovative way. The process helps redefine problems and opportunities to come up with new responses and solutions.... more

A criteria matrix is a valuable decision-making tool that is used to assess and rank a list of options based on specific criteria. For example, the simplest criteria matrix will compare the Pros and Cons of each option... more

Cultural differences impact how people from different countries, socio-economic groups, and other distinct societal systems interact in meetings. For example, some cultures prize direct discussions and vigorous debate... more

D

DeBono's Six Thinking Hats is a dialogue technique for looking at a decision from multiple angles. Individual group members take on an assigned perspective (or "Thinking Hat") for the duration of the discussion. For... more

A decision tree is a decision-making aid that compares options by projecting what the expected outcome of each choice might be. Teams that use a decision tree often draft the tree together in a meeting on a whiteboard.... more

Decision making technique designed to combat groupthink. One or more people in the group takes the "devil's advocate" role, and works to point out all the flaws and risks with an option under consideration.

Dialetical inquiry is a group decision-making technique that attempts to combat group think. The practice reportedly originated with Plato, who asked his students to consider both the thesis and antithesis to any idea.... more

A discovery meeting is a form of investigative meeting used by consultants, designers, and project teams to learn more about a project's requirements. During a discovery meeting, one or more people interview the project... more

The classic structure for group decision-making meetings includes these phases: Diverge -> Emerge - > Converge. Divergent Thinking describes thought processes and methods used to generate creative ideas by exploring a... more

Dominance in a meeting describes the behavior of a person who uses their position of authority or role in the group to control the situation in a way that excludes the fair and equitable consideration of other... more

Dot voting is a fast and easy voting system for determining the highest priority items on a list. The technique is called “Dot Voting” because, in face-to-face meetings, votes are cast by placing a sticky-dot or using... more

E

In a meeting context, engagement describes the attention level of attendees and how much they participate in the meeting's activities. A participant's engagement is easiest to see when they are speaking or actively... more

Environment scanning is a sense-making exercise teams use to uncover the outside trends that they should consider during the strategic planning process. Teams research and brainstorm the trends they see in their... more

An executive session is a private meeting within an otherwise open meeting, such as an organizational board meeting. Boards may hold an executive session involving only board members to discuss sensitive or private... more

F

A face-to-face meeting is one where all the participants are physically in the same place. In other words, a face-to-face meeting is what everyone used to just call "a meeting" before the advent of conference calls and... more

Facilitation is the work involved in designing and running a successful meeting. To facilitate literally means "to make the process easy." Facilitation skills include: Planning an appropriate process for a specific... more

The term facilitator can refer to a person's profession or their role in a specific meeting. Professional facilitators are trained to design and lead meetings for teams and groups. A professional facilitator works for... more

Facilitators and leaders ask for meeting feedback so they can work to improve future meetings. Asking for feedback helps the leader improve and sends a message about the importance of meeting quality to meeting... more

A fishbone diagram is a visual technique that teams use to organize their thinking and identify causes for a problem. The diagram starts with a process or problem written at the right center of the board, with a long... more

The Fist to Five is a technique for quickly getting feedback or gaging consensus during a meeting. The leader makes a statement, then asks everyone to show their level of agreement with the statement by holding up a... more

A flip chart consists of a series of large pieces of paper which are attached at the top and which are used to present information to an audience by turning over one piece of paper at a time. Flip charts are used during... more

Meeting follow up includes the activities conducted after the meeting. Right after the meeting, the meeting organizer follows up by sending out meeting notes and collecting feedback. If the meeting resulted in action... more

Teams conduct a force field analysis when they need to make go/no-go decisions. Teams start by writing the proposed change down the center of the diagram. To the left, they list the forces driving change, with an arrow... more

G

The gallery method is a way of generating and building on ideas in a group. To begin, the group reviews a problem statement or challenge. Then, everyone takes 30 minutes or so to sketch 2 or 3 solution ideas. These are... more

The Go Around gives each person a brief turn to speak to the topic, without interruption. Everyone else listens. Also known as a Round Robin, Structured Go Around, or as going “Around the Horn”, this foundational... more

The Gradients of Agreement is a group decision support tool. It spells out an 8-point scale for expressing support for a decision. Whole-hearted Endorsement - “I really like it!” Agreement with a Minor Point of... more

Ground rules detail the code of conduct for a meeting, explaining the behavior that's expected of all meeting participants. Ideally, ground rules are created and agreed to by the people participating in the meeting,... more

Group decision support software helps organizations make decisions using best-practices at scale. Group decision support software features include support for large-scale brainstorming, idea grouping and refinement,... more

H

A hybrid meeting refers to the physical location of participants. In a hybrid meeting, a subset of the people attending the meeting is located together in the same place. Other participants join the meeting by... more

I

An ice breaker is an activity, game, or event that is used to welcome and warm up the conversation among participants in a meeting. Ice breakers range wildly, from simple one-question answers to elaborate team games.... more

An Influence Diagram is a compact, graphical way to look at the factors involved in making a decision. Influence diagrams show how the decisions, variables at work, and desired outcomes relate to one another, which is... more

An integration is the practice of combining individually tested software and hardware components in a way that makes them easy to use together. Most meeting technology is integrated with other technologies, such as... more

An Introduction is a formal presentation of one person to another, including the exchange of names. Meetings that involve people who don't know each other often start with introductions, which may be as simple as going... more

An invitation is a request or attempt to get another person to join an event such as a meeting. An effective meeting invitation includes details about when and where the meeting will be held, and information about the... more

An Issue is an area of concern or uncertainty that impacts a team's ability to make progress. Teams identify issues during meetings, then work to find solutions. Project teams and leadership teams will often create an... more

K

A kickoff meeting, originating from football, is generally the first meeting with the project team and their client. This meeting comes after the basic project details have been defined, but before the main project work... more

The KJ-Method or KJ Technique, is an idea generating and prioritizing technique named after its inventor, Jiro Kawakita. This technique is one of the most popular brainstorming variations for design, team,... more

L

Lack of participation happens when participants remain quiet or do not engage in a meeting's activities creating a roadblock to meeting productivity. This is considered a meeting dysfunction that should be avoided by... more

Lean practices focus on those activities that continuously improve all functions and processes, and involve all employees in the effort to increase the efficiency with which the organization delivers value to customers... more

LEAN Coffee is one way to build an agenda on the fly. Groups using this structured meeting technique brainstorm then decide the topics to be discussed at the start of the meeting. This meeting technique works for... more

Live Cast is a term that describes the process of broadcasting real-time, live video footage or video feed to an audience accessing the video stream over the Internet.

A Logical Fallacy is an invalid argument that relies on emotional tricks rather than sound logic. Many logical fallacies feel and sound persuasive, and they can be especially destructive when used in meetings. Some... more

The Lotus Blossom Technique is a structured brainstorming exercise used to expand on a central idea or problem. Teams place the original problem statement in the center box in a 3x3 matrix, then add related themes or... more

Low energy is considered a dysfunctional meeting dynamic that manifests in many ways: attendees look tired, don't contribute to the conversation, lose track of the discussion, etc. There are several ways to combat low... more

M

A meeting is a defined real-time gathering of two or more people for the purpose of achieving a common goal through conversation and interaction. Meetings have three qualities which differentiate them from other kinds... more

Meeting Costs are a calculation of the money and resources required to prepare for and run a meeting. Costs can be calculated by assessing software costs, organizational costs (people time), meeting productivity and... more

Meeting design is the practice of creating a plan for a specific kind of meeting that includes a draft agenda and explains how to achieve the desired meeting outcomes.

Meeting management software helps individuals and teams plan, organize, run, and record results during meetings. Common meeting productivity features include scheduling and invitations, agenda building and distribution... more

Meeting Metrics are data points, collected over time, that can show trends and patterns of efficiency or efficacy in your meetings. Common metrics include the number of meetings and participants, time spent in meetings... more

Meeting Minutes, or informally, notes, are the record of a meeting in written form. They typically describe the events of the meeting and may include an agenda, a list of attendees and no shows, a listing of issues and... more

The degree to which an organization optimizes meetings to achieve their specified purpose. Groups operate at one of five levels of meeting performance maturity. Level 1: Ad Hoc - “Winging It” Almost no... more

There are two meeting technologies commonly referred to as meeting polls. A meeting scheduling tool that allows meeting organizers to ask attendees which days and times they are available to meet. A question posed to... more

The meeting's purpose is a statement explaining why the group needs to meet, and why meeting would work better than chat or email in this situation. The meeting purpose should provide a clear line of sight to an end... more

A meeting's structure describes how the meeting is planned and organized. Every meeting has a structure. When a meeting leader works to create the structure for the meeting, they consider: When and where to hold the... more

A meeting template is a pre-formatted set of information that can serve as a starting point for a specific type of meeting. The template may include (but is not limited to) a detailed agenda, facilitation and... more

Mind Mapping is a visual way to represent a central idea and related themes. The central idea is written in the center, and related ideas are placed surrounding the central idea with lines connecting them, like branches... more

A motion is a formal proposal put to a group for a decision by vote in a meeting. Meetings that use Robert's Rules of Order or another parliamentary process make official decisions using motions. The outcome of a motion... more

Multitasking is the practice of dividing attention between multiple activities at the same time. In a meeting context, this can be a problem as participants may check their email or prepare a presentation and not fully... more

Multivoting is a technique used to take a long list of possible solutions and either narrow it to a smaller list by priority or reduce it to a final selection. Each person in the group gets a set number of votes, and... more

Mute mapping is an affinity diagramming approach designed to encourage equal participation and reduce bias. Mute mapping follows brainstorming. When all the ideas have been added, the team works to organize the ideas... more

N

Neutrality is often considered a desirable trait for meeting facilitators, who seek to stay unbiased about the meeting content and the outcome of any decisions. A neutral facilitator pays attention to the meeting... more

The Nominal Group Technique is a structured process for generating ideas and prioritizing the preferred options. First, the leader asks an open-ended question. Everyone silently writes down replies on individual notes (... more

Meeting norms are the standards of behavior expected from those in a team and during a meeting. Unlike a working team agreement, which covers the tools and processes a team will use when working together, norms... more

Notes, or meeting notes, are the written proceedings of a meeting. Notes can be public or private, and they are typically sent to the attendees just after a meeting. Also see Meeting Minutes.

A notification is something written or printed that alerts people about an upcoming event, like an email that notifies participants about an upcoming meeting. Some formal meetings, such as board meetings, committee... more

O

An observer is a meeting role granted by some organizations to non-members to allow them to monitor or participate in the organization's activities. Most commonly, observers rights in the meeting are restricted to... more

The one-phrase close is a technique used to end team meetings. Before the group leaves the meeting, each person takes a turn sharing one word or phrase about how they're feeling regarding the work completed during the... more

P

PALPaR is a technique used by presenters to create an effective exchange in response to a proposal. The name of the technique is an acronym for: Present Ask Listent Pause and Reply To ensure... more

A Pareto Analysis is a decision-making technique used to choose a limited number of actions to take that will result in a significant impact. The analysis uses the Pareto Principle (the 80/20 rule), which states for... more

A meeting parking lot helps keep track of important items that may not be useful to discuss in the current meeting. As subjects come up that don't relate directly to the topic under discussion, they are added to the... more

Parliamentary Procedure is the body of rules, ethics and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies and other deliberative assemblies. Roberts Rules of Order documents... more

Participation, in a meeting context, describes a cooperative effort to give input, make decisions, resolve issues, and assign actions together. Meeting facilitators are trained to encourage participation from everyone... more

A PEST analysis is a sense-making technique used in strategic planning and situational analysis. Participants brainstorm and map out what's changing in their operating environment, then brainstorm the opportunities and... more

A Plenary Session is a meeting at a conference in which all members of an organization are expected to attend. Such sessions may include a broad range of content, from keynotes to panel discussions.

PMI is a brainstorming technique for gathering feedback on an idea, concept, or when a team takes a retrospective look at a recently completed set of work. After introducing the idea, the group is asked to write... more

Plus-Delta provides a quick way to gather feedback at the end of an exercise or meeting. The questions are designed to encourage candid feedback by using “improvement” language rather than language that might be... more

Teams use the Polarity Map® technique in meetings to explore the benefits and problems with opposing factors, or poles, that play against each other when making a decision, especially when both alternatives have... more

A Post Mortem, in the context of meetings, is a process usually conducted at the conclusion of a project to determine which parts of the project were successful or unsuccessful. Project post-mortems are intended to... more

A Powerful Starting Question is a question or set of questions that help a group visualize their answers. The questions fill a blank slate in each person’s mind with a detailed picture. The powerful starting question is... more

A Pre-Mortem is a meeting before a project starts in which a team imagines what the project would look like if it succeeded and if it failed. The team then works backward to create a plan to help prevent potential... more

A presentation is when a person communicates an idea to others. The term can be adapted to various speaking situations, such as talking to a group, addressing a meeting or briefing a team.

A PDPC is used to understand the steps related to reaching a goal then find ways to increase the chances that the plan will work as desired. During the meeting, the team reviews the project plan, looking specifically at... more

Progressive questioning is a technique for fully exploring a topic by asking a series of related questions. There are several progressive questioning techniques designed to fit different situations. Using 5 Whys helps... more

A proxy is a representative that has been designated to vote on someone else's behalf in a meeting. The representative may be a member of the same voting body or external.

Q

Quorum is a calculation of the minimum percentage of members who must be present at the meeting before business can be legally transacted. Formal meetings, such as board meetings and public meetings, must have a set... more

R

RAID stands for Risks, Assumptions, Issues, and Dependencies. Teams may conduct a RAID analysis as part of their project planning meeting, then produce a RAID board which they can review, update, and revisit during... more

The Rational Decision-Making Model describes the steps a group would take when making a logical decision. The steps are designed to reduce the impact of biases, logical fallacies, and knee-jerk reactions on the decision... more

A virtual or remote team is comprised of team members who share responsibility for achieving defined objectives and who perform from a flexible mix of stationary, mobile and/or remote work environments. Remote teams do... more

Remote work is an arrangement in which employees do not commute or travel (e.g. by bus or car) to a central place of work, such as an office building, warehouse or store. Instead, they work from home or from another... more

Repeatability generally refers to the ease in which something can be done over and over. In a meeting context, implementing a similar process from meeting to meeting can increase the reliability of outcomes.... more

A retrospective is a meeting that's held at the end of an iteration in Agile software development or at the completion of a project. During the retrospective, the team reflects on what happened in the iteration and... more

Reverse Brainstorming is a technique that builds on our natural ability to more easily see problems than solutions. Instead of asking a group to brainstorm ideas that would work, the group brainstorms all the ways that... more

A risk is something that could happen to impact a plan, causing delays, the need to re-plan, or even project failure. Teams work to identify and list project risks during meetings, then develop ways to protect against,... more

Ritual dissent is a workshop technique designed to overcome taboos against publicly critiquing idea so the presenter can hear candid, useful feedback. During the workshop, the idea presenter shares his or her idea with... more

Robert's Rules of Order is the most widely-used manual of parliamentary procedure in America. It governs the meetings of a diverse range of organizations—including church groups, county commissions, homeowners... more

There are several roles different participants might have in a meeting. Some roles are officially appointed, some assigned on a per-meeting basis, and others simply assumed during the meeting without discussion. Formal... more

ROTI stands for Return on Time Invested. This is a quick and easy method to gauge whether participants feel that the time they spent in a meeting was worthwhile. The meeting leader asks everyone to rate the meeting from... more

A round robin is a technique in which everyone takes a turn generating and developing ideas in a group. The process relies on each team member building off previous contributions and can be conducted in either a verbal... more

An RSVP is the confirmation of and response to an invitation. When team members respond to an invitation confirming they will attend, the organizer can better plan how they will run a meeting.

S

SCAMPER is a creative thinking and problem-solving technique that guides groups to evaluate an idea by exploring similar or related ideas. SCAMPER stands for: Substitute: looking at what can be switched out in the... more

Screen sharing occurs when one person on a computer device can see what another person is doing on their computer. The screen sharing can give the person watching the other computer the ability to view and control what... more

Secretary is one of the defined roles in a formal meeting. The secretary’s role is to be the guardian of the process of meetings and the maintainer of the official business records. He or she often manages communication... more

You may recognize the sentence completion technique from market research studies and standardized academic tests. It works by providing the first part of a sentence, then asking people to complete the sentence in their... more

Silence in a meeting happens when people stop talking or communicating. When used strategically, silence can be a powerful collaboration and communication tool.

A silent brainstorm is a technique for generating ideas while everyone remains quiet. This allows participants to think without distractions or influence from other members of the group, and helps combat problems with... more

The simple consensus workshop method includes four steps. A group brainstorms ideas or responses, which are shared one at a time and posted to a shared space. The group clusters the ideas by related themes or concepts... more

Six Serving Men is a team exercise that examines an issue from twelve different viewpoints. It is based on the words of the poem by Rudyard Kipling: I keep six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew. Their names... more

A speaker queue is an online tool that allows meeting attendees to request to speak by virtually “raising their hand" and get into a queue. They are each subsequently given the floor to speak or present without... more

A stakeholder is an individual, group, or organization, who may affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision, activity, or outcome of a project. The success of many meetings depends on... more

A meeting where everyone stands up rather than sits down is called a standing meeting. Standing is meant to help keep the meeting short, as no one gets too comfortable. Daily Huddles are often conducted as standing... more

A standing meeting is any meeting that repeats on a predictable basis and creates an ongoing obligation on participant's calendars. For example, you may have a standing meeting with your boss every Tuesday at 2pm. A... more

Stop, Start, Continue is an exercise used in action review meetings to look at lessons learned. Steps include: Step 1: Setup Create three blank lists labeled Start, Stop, and Continue. Explain that Start is for... more

A status update is a regularly scheduled meeting, typically about a project, to exchange information. They can be held at various times during the project with different stakeholders.

Sticky notes are small pieces of colorful paper, usually square, with a light-weight adhesive strip on the back. Sticky notes are used for brainstorming sessions in order for participants to visually post ideas in front... more

A meeting storyboard is a document containing a multi-column table used by organizers and facilitators to design the content flow for a meeting. The left column lists the key messages. The right column includes the... more

Strategic planning is a systematic process of envisioning a desired future and translating this vision into broadly defined goals or objectives and a sequence of steps to achieve them. In contrast to long-term planning... more

The Strategic War Room, contributed by Krister Forsberg, provides a way for leadership teams to come to a common understanding of insights about the organization. When complete, leaders get a comprehensive view (both... more

A straw poll is an ad-hoc or unofficial vote. Straw polls can be useful in meetings to quickly determine consensus. For example, if a conversation runs long, the leader may call a straw poll asking the group if most of... more

A swim lane diagram is a type of flowchart. The diagram usually shows a process, and steps are divided into categories to distinguish which departments or employees are responsible for a certain set of actions.... more

A SWOT Analysis is an analysis of a group's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. A SWOT analysis may be conducted as part of an Environmental Scan in preparation for strategic planning. Strengths and... more

T

Team-building activities include group activities and exercises designed to help people get to know one another and build trust. Many longer workshops and multi-day planning sessions begin with short team-building... more

An analogy is a comparison that points out the similarity between the like features of two different things. The Analogies and Metaphors technique in meetings helps participants clarify their understanding of an issue.... more

A timekeeper in a meeting is a person who takes on the role of measuring or recording the amount of time taken to do something. The timekeeper essentially helps the facilitator move the group through the agenda,... more

Teams may create a timeline of events together in a meeting as a sense-making exercise that helps everyone understand both what happened to lead to the current situation, learn aspects of the situation that may have... more

A meeting timer is used to help monitor time spent vs. time planned for the overall meeting and each segment of the meeting. Timers may also be used in large community members to limit the amount of time each person can... more

Toastmasters is an international organization dedicated to helping people become better public speakers. Membership is open to anyone who wants to become a more confident public speaker.

A topic in a meeting is the subject currently under discussion by the group. Topics should be chosen wisely and be relevant to all attendees. Meeting topics may be set on the agenda in advance or determined during the... more

There are multiple meeting and thinking techniques called TRIZ. Liberating Structures describes TRIZ as meeting exercise designed to help groups identify counterproductive things they may be doing and find ways to stop... more

V

Video conferencing is a technology that allows users in different locations to hold face-to-face meetings. The technology is convenient for participants in different cities or countries because it saves the time and... more

Virtual icebreakers are team-building exercises conducted during a meeting with attendees that are not in the same location. They help your team make a human connection, and can be especially useful when you run online... more

A virtual meeting is a real meeting held over the phone or the Internet involving one or more people who are not in the same location.

The vote-discuss-revote technique helps a group understand differences and discuss them to achieve consensus. Unlike single-round voting, this technique gives everyone an opportunity to advocate for an option they feel... more

Many meetings use voting to evaluate group consensus and confirm decisions. Some votes are formal and binding, such as the votes on a motion during a board meeting or other meeting using parliamentary procedures. Other... more

W

A walking meeting is exactly what it sounds like; a meeting conducted while walking. Proponents of walking meetings say walking meetings lead to more natural conversations and enhanced creativity. They cite research... more

Web conferencing software makes it possible for people to hold meetings, training sessions, and webinars using the Internet. Web conferencing software features, such as those provided by Cisco WebEx, GoTo Meeting, and... more

A webinar is a seminar, training session, or other broadcast conducted over the Internet. Webinars feature one or more central speakers presenting information to a large group of registered attendees. While participants... more

A whiteboard is a flat wipeable surface that teams draw and post sticky notes on during meetings. Many face-to-face meeting activities assume the group will meet in a space with one or more whiteboards available. Many... more

Who, What and When are the three key questions answered when documenting an action item or task in a meeting. Every action item should clearly state What needs to be done, Who needs to do it, and When it should be done... more

A workshop is a long interactive meeting or educational session designed to create a specialized result. Workshops are longer than the typical business meeting and require more preparation beforehand. Workshops... more

World Cafe is a large group discussion technique designed to encourage the kind of intimate small group discussions one might have at a cafe on a selected topic. Participants sit at small tables with 5 or fewer other... more