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Gracie Gregory (she/her) for The DEV Team

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Answer this question about meetings for the chance to appear on the DevDiscuss podcast!

The DevDiscuss Podcast begins with an interview and ends with commentary from listeners — and we like to feature the actual voices from our community!

In order to round out an upcoming episode about effective meetings, we'd like to know...

“What do you think are the best ways to make meetings better and more efficient?”

For your chance to appear on an upcoming episode, answer the question above by:

  • Calling our Google Voice at +1 (929)500-1513 and leave a message 📞

  • Sending a voice memo to 🎙

  • OR, leaving a comment here (we'll read your response aloud for you) 🗣

Please send in your recordings by Wednesday, February 3rd at Midnight, ET (9 PM PT, 5 AM UTC)

Voice recordings will be given priority placement 😉

Don't forget to check out the most recent season of DevDiscuss here

Top comments (12)

darksmile92 profile image
Robin Kretzschmar

My answer is a bit longer because I try to give a complete picture on my approach.

Basic question: meeting or email?

Will a short call or email do it instead of a meeting?
Is the meeting really important?
If not, call, walk up to someone or write an email.

Specify topic

Use a short, but concise title for the meeting, from which the topic and goal are already well recognizable.


  • Determine handling of external interface connections
  • Develop definition of meeting rules
  • Explain and document project proposal process ...


  • Meeting
  • Short talk regarding project XYZ
  • Common testing
  • Interfaces ...

Agenda: define the goal

Describe what the meeting is about.
If there are questions or tasks in advance, put them in the description.
Is the meeting a follow-up to a previous meeting? Briefly summarize the last meeting.
Does it require any preparation from the participants? If so, make that clear in the description.
Clearly describe what the goal of the meeting is and specify the expectation:
What is the expected outcome at the end of the meeting?

Timeboxing - time schedule

Think about the time schedule of your meeting based on the agenda and determine times for each item, how long it may take at most. If possible, always plan some buffer at the end, in case it is necessary to overrun a topic. Also, every participant is happy if the meeting ends earlier than planned.

Determine the group of participants

Think carefully about who will be invited to the meeting.
Answer the following questions about each person:

  • What does the participant contribute to the meeting/goal achievement? (Why is he needed)
  • What will the participant gain from attending the meeting?
  • Will he have an active part or is it enough to inform him about the result afterwards?

If you cannot answer any of the questions, the person is most likely not needed for the meeting.

Determine moderator

If it makes sense to have a moderator for the meeting, define one. This can be one of the already invited participants, but also another person whose sole benefit is the role of the moderator. For example deeply discussing technical topics and moderating the meeting at the same time can't be handled by most people.

Sending the invitation

Invite the participants in time and check the acceptances before the meeting starts.

graciegregory profile image
Gracie Gregory (she/her)

This is awesome! Thank you!

darksmile92 profile image
Robin Kretzschmar

My pleasure 😊
I even include this in welcome mails/checklists for new colleagues and with new project teams to make sure people are aware of those guidelines. Most of the time it helps to prevent unnecessary meetings or to keep meetings short with people who love to hear themselves talking 😁

heatherw profile image
Heather Williams

Agendas are very good. And sometimes you have to rein the meeting in and keep it on topic. Sometimes the best thing you can say is: great idea, let's take that offline and then do so.
Also note any decisions and act on them, that avoids another meeting about the meeting you just had.

graciegregory profile image
Gracie Gregory (she/her)

Hey Heather! We'd love to hear a voice recording of this comment if you're interested and willing! Instructions are above 😀

heatherw profile image
Heather Williams

Thanks Gracie.
I have sent an e-mail to with a voice note.

lukewestby profile image
Luke Westby
  1. Always have a goal to accomplish and make sure everyone understands it beforehand.
  2. End the meeting 5-10 minutes before the nearest half-hour. Gives people a chance to take a short break before the next thing.
  3. Before adjourning, write down any decisions that the group made and any next steps that people need to do. Make sure each of those next steps is clearly owned by one person and has an expected timeframe.
  4. At a more macro level: if you suspect that a meeting might not be serving your team well something you may be able to try is to simply stop holding the meeting. You can trust your team to find ways to fulfill the needs that the meeting was intended to meet in the way that is best for them, and if you end up having a new meeting anyway there's a good chance that it will be more focused and better understood.
highcenburg profile image
Vicente Antonio G. Reyes

As a freelance developer, the best meetings will always be those meetings that have a clear objective and the email exchange that need further discussion that should be done over zoom, instead of email.

nflamel profile image
Fran C.

If you need to meet to make a decision on some topic, try to find other ways to decide that do not imply meeting.

If you need to meet to perform some routine or process make sure that the agenda is cristal clear and that everyone knows how to prepare the meeting so that it can be reduced at the very minimum.

crimsonmed profile image
Médéric Burlet

If you are not interacting in the meeting you should not be in the meeting.

aishwarya4shrestha profile image

Make meeting agenda (before the meeting) and share meeting notes(after the meeting)

cgdougm profile image
Doug MacMillan

Use a timer that shows how much money you're wasting. There's lots of software alternatives: google "meeting cost timer"