From start to finish, presenting at or facilitating meetings is a huge undertaking. Meetings are where much of the heavy lifting takes place within an organization. It’s the best time to regroup, refocus, or collaborate. However, when a meeting facilitator is disorganized or unprepared, a meeting can prove to make any confusion even worse.
To be a great meeting facilitator, it’s important to be prepared, stay organized, and be open to collaboration. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy to do on your own. Instead of cramming before a team meeting, consider utilizing programs that can help you improve your facilitation skills.
That’s where MindManager® comes in. MindManager is mind mapping software equipped with dozens of blank maps, graphs, and diagrams that can make virtual meetings easy. With MindManager, you can plan, execute, and follow-up on meetings to ensure you use your time and resources efficiently.
If you are a meeting facilitator, this type of software can help you to work out all the details leading up to the event. This ensures that you and your team will get the most from your discussion. Whether you are planning, facilitating, or following-up with employees, there are certain steps that you can take that make a difference in how you and your team work together.
1. Plan ahead of time
Before your meeting, it’s important to get organized. It can help to ask yourself key questions, such as:
- What are your main objectives?
- How much time, if any, are you allowing for group discussion?
- What are you hoping to achieve from this meeting?
Many of these questions can easily be input into a pre-built or customized mind mapping template. There are several options that you can use to help you in meeting facilitation.
Each template helps you create structured visual agendas so that each meeting has a solid purpose, positive outcome, and well-balanced structure. By doing so, you’re ensuring that you and your team are making the most of your time together.
During the planning stage for a meeting, you can use mind maps to create tasks, subtasks, and set priority levels. When you have a specific task for a specific employee, it’s simple to assign them directly into the map template. That way, team members can revert to your collaborative mind map to see what is required of them and when.
Before starting your meeting, you can add links, documents, and other resources directly onto your template. With mind maps, important reference material is easily presented to your team so that they can follow along with your meeting every step of the way.
2. Execute your plan at the meeting
Now that you’ve finished your pre-meeting planning, it’s time to put your plan into action. During meeting facilitation, you can use maps to engage your employees. By using your mind map as a reference point, you can keep your whole team on the same page and encourage more focused and productive conversations when its meeting time.
Easily create real-time edits to your mind map when new tasks, ideas, or issues arise. Maps let you bounce ideas off each other while enabling you, the meeting facilitator, to continue refocusing on important topics. Once you’ve worked through a topic or idea, you can easily collapse tasks and subtasks to clear up space and keep things organized.
With maps, you’ll never have to worry about ideas, feedback, questions, or contributions becoming forgotten or misplaced. Mind map’s templates were made with collaboration in mind, so team members can add information whenever anything of importance is brought up in conversation.
3. Follow-up with your team after the meeting
Follow-up is one of the most important steps in meeting facilitation. Once you’ve concluded your meeting, mind maps can help you clarify what parts of your conversation require action. You can utilize visual icons to document decisions you and your team made during your meeting so that vital information can be referenced well into the future.
Seamlessly move from planning to execution by assigning certain tasks to employees directly on your map. These tasks and subtasks can then be tracked based on priority level, due date, and progress status. Additionally, other members of your team can follow along to see if they’re staying on the right track.
Even when employees don’t attend the meeting, they can be sure to have access to the information and knowledge that was exchanged. Maps centralizes information for all employees and stakeholders to eliminate confusion and ensure all items are completed on time.
The best mapping templates for group meetings and facilitation
There are tons of different mind mapping templates to help you be a better meeting facilitator. The right template all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.
Problem-solving is made easy with MindManager’s specialized map templates. With mind maps, you can show the potential causes of a specific event or issue, examine relationships between sets of data, and visualize your decision-making process as a meeting facilitator.
MindManager provides users with a variety of mapping templates that can be used to ensure company information is always cohesive and within reach during meetings.
Before, during, and after a meeting, team members can add links, attachments, and valuable information directly onto maps. This enables you and your employees to collaborate to reach shared goals.
Maps make it possible to visualize workflow and ensure short- and long-term goals are being met. During meetings, you can use maps to ensure deadlines are clear-cut and straightforward for all employees.
MindManager as a meeting management tool
No matter what your meetings are about, you and your team can benefit from using visual diagrams to map out workflow processes, future plans, and more. Visual diagrams help team members better understand their roles and responsibilities in an existing company workflow, in addition to assisting them with the identification of opportunities for process improvement.
Mind mapping software solutions such as MindManager feature a wide range of customizable swim lane diagrams, workflow diagrams, and other visual diagram templates that teams use to help streamline their workflow process and improve their bottom line. Not to mention, MindManager’s co-editing feature simplifies team collaboration, enabling team members to contribute to workflow process maps in real-time, regardless of their physical location.
MindManager also enables teams to aggregate all important workflow process information into one centralized document by enabling them to link their visual diagrams to web pages, emails, SharePoint documents, and within other project resources. This helps teams to efficiently share workflow information with internal and external company stakeholders.