I was turning out some notes the other day, and I came across the a really simple acronym if you want to hold better meetings – Toast.

As you can see, Toast breaks down the things you need to make a successful meeting. By simply making sure you identify all these things before the meeting it’s going to be a more effective one!

Topic (or Theme)

What is your meeting about? What topic are you discussing? Has this been made clear in advance, so everyone is on the same page? We know what it’s like when people turn up to a meeting not knowing!

Objective

What do you want to get out of the meeting? Is there a definite decision you need to come to? Or is this just canvassing opinions or looking for a variety of ideas? Or are you simply going to communicate something to those present?

Agenda

How is the meeting going to be structured? In what order are you going to go through things? Will there be specific feedback sessions?

Style

Is this informal? To people have to prepare content? Is one particular person leading? Are you using Discovery Deck? Or do you have a creative coach to lead you?

Timing

How long do you have for this meeting? What happens if you over run? Should you be able to to overrun?

Do you want to hold better meetings?

If you want to hold better meetings, then having an external facilitator can help. We also use Discovery Deck to help structure our meetings. If you’d like to know more about how you can use these, get in touch.

I’d love to know who came up with this acronym, because it’s a simple check list to go through before you start any meeting. I did google, but couldn’t find a specific reference to it, so if you do know tell me!


Gavin Ricketts is a Producer/Director with twenty year's experience. His book on writing CVs for the creative industries has helped Film and TV Crew win more work.


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