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The Glossary of Meeting Terms 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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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 that shows the benefits of exercise on the brain to stimulate creativity and problem-solving abilities.

While many advocates tout walking meetings as new way of meeting, we believe golfers may say otherwise.

If a group makes a decision during a meeting and everyone says that they support the decision, but then when they leave the room they talk privately about how they think the decision is flawed, that decision is said to have failed “the water cooler test”.

Meeting facilitators work to help everyone get all their opinions and concerns out during the meeting. The group is asked to have the discussion in the room—not later “around the water cooler”—then leave the meeting committed to...

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A weather report is a way to run meeting check-ins and check-outs developed by Diana Larsen for teams who meet on weekly basis.

During the check-in, each person gives their weather report for the previous week’s work.

Check-in Example

Welcome! Let’s start with a weather report for last week. We’ll go around the room, and when it’s your turn, share what the weather was like for your work this past week and why....

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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 others, are designed to solve communication problems, making it possible for people to see each other using video conferencing, hear each other using audio conferencing, and share material such as presentations, computer screens, and chat messages. Web conferencing software...

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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 may have an opportunity to ask questions or answer short polls, webinars are not considered a collaborative meeting.

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 web conferencing tools include a virtual whiteboard feature that attempts to make it possible to conduct some of the same group activities online.

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. Every task management and productivity tool will capture this information for tasks, often labeling the information the Assigned Owner, Task Description, and Due Date.

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 typically involve a central trainer or facilitator who works with a set of sponsors to design the sequence of presentations, plan collaborative activities, and ensure the workshop will lead to the desired result. Workshops emphasize hands-on interaction. Strategic planning often...

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Workshops are custom-designed meetings, usually over two hours, than can be used to achieve a myriad of goals.

You can find an introduction to Workshops in Chapter 27 of our book, Where the Action Is. You may also want to visit the Learn More link, below, for resources to help you plan, run, and troubleshoot the specific meetings your team needs.

Examples Project, Program and Product Kickoffs Team Chartering Design Workshops Value Stream... read 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 people. After a brief introduction, the group discusses a series of questions at their table. The discussion period for each question is timed, and people are encouraged to move to new tables between each discussion round. At the end of the small group discussion rounds,...

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The Write, Read, Discuss technique was popularized by Amazon as a way to replace PowerPoint presentations in meetings.a Here's what it looks like:

Written Briefings: Provide detailed written reports and proposals before the meeting. Silent Reading: Give everyone a few silent minutes to read the briefings and take notes during the meeting. Structured Dialogue: Everyone gets an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

Written Brainstorming