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7 Meeting purpose examples for effective discussions (+ insider tips)

By 
Angela Guedes
 on 
October 26, 2023
Playbooks

Not all meetings are created equal. The difference often lies in having a clear, defined purpose. Think of it as its compass, the 'why' behind the 'what.' A good meeting purpose guides the discussion, aligns expectations, and sets the stage for productive outcomes.

Without it, meetings can easily veer off course, becoming time-drainers instead of time-investments. And that’s why we want to help you by offering a few meeting purpose examples and tips to write your own.

How is a Meeting Purpose different from Objectives?

Meeting purpose and objectives are like close siblings in the family of meeting planning. They may seem similar, but they hold distinct roles. 

A meeting purpose is the broad umbrella under which everything else falls. It's the big picture, the overarching aim that steers the meeting in a particular direction.

On the flip side, objectives are the specific, measurable outcomes you aim to achieve by the end of the discussion.

Consider a team brainstorming session for a new marketing campaign. The meeting purpose might be to generate creative marketing ideas, while the meeting Objectives could include coming up with at least five viable marketing strategies and deciding on next steps. Let’s look at this example in detail:

Meeting Purpose Statement:

The purpose of our meeting is to harness the collective creativity and expertise of our team to generate innovative marketing strategies for the upcoming Q4 campaign.

Meeting Objectives:

  1. Generate a minimum of five viable marketing strategies.
  2. Ensure every team member contributes at least one unique idea.
  3. Decide on the next steps for further development and assignment of tasks for the chosen marketing strategies.
  4. Identify any potential challenges and propose solutions.
  5. Establish a follow-up meeting to review progress and refine strategies as needed.

How Clear Purposes Shape Effective Meetings

A clear meeting purpose tells participants what the meeting aims to achieve. This clarity helps people come prepared, saving time and making discussions more productive.

When everyone knows the meeting's purpose, discussions stay focused. It prevents the conversation from drifting into unrelated topics. This focus speeds up decision-making and helps achieve the meeting's Objectives.

Furthermore, a clear purpose enables accountability. After the meeting, you can evaluate if the purpose was met and what was achieved. This reflection helps improve future meetings, ensuring they are always time well spent.

7 Real-world Meeting Purpose Examples

Below are seven meeting purpose examples to help guide your next discussion.

Project Kick-off Meeting

A project kick-off meeting marks the beginning of a new project, ensuring everyone is aligned on the project's Objectives and understands their roles. A meeting purpose example for this meeting could be:

Purpose Statement: To align the team on project Objectives, roles, and timelines.

Objectives:

  • Establish project Objectives
  • Define roles and responsibilities
  • Set timelines
  • Identify potential challenges.

Strategy Planning Meeting

This meeting is where the big picture planning occurs, setting the strategic objectives for the upcoming quarter or year. 

Purpose Statement: To set strategic Objectives and identify key actions for the upcoming quarter.

Objectives:

  • Set strategic Objectives
  • Identify key actions
  • Allocate resources
  • Define success metrics.

Client Onboarding Meeting

A client onboarding meeting sets the foundation for a good client relationship, ensuring both parties have clear expectations. A meeting purpose example for this could be:

Purpose Statement: To understand the client's needs, set expectations, and outline the project roadmap.

Objectives:

  • Understand [client's name] needs
  • Set project expectations
  • Outline the project roadmap
  • Establish communication channels

Team Weekly Meeting

Weekly team meetings are crucial for keeping everyone on the same page, reviewing progress, and planning the week ahead.

Purpose Statement: To review the past week's achievements, discuss ongoing tasks, and plan for the upcoming week.

Objectives:

  • Review past week's achievements
  • Discuss ongoing tasks
  • Plan for the upcoming week
  • Address any concerns

OKR Retrospective

An OKR (Objectives and Key Results) retrospective reflects on the past quarter’s objectives, evaluating what was achieved and what wasn’t. This is one of the most important meeting purpose examples to keep in mind.

Purpose Statement: To review the past quarter's OKRs, analyze achievements, and set learning for future planning.

Objectives:

  • Evaluate achievement of past quarter's OKRs
  • Identify areas of improvement
  • Set OKRs for the next quarter

Brainstorming Session

Brainstorming sessions are a creative playground for generating new ideas and solutions to existing problems.

Purpose Statement: To foster innovation and generate a variety of ideas for a specified challenge.

Objectives:

  • Generate innovative ideas
  • Encourage team collaboration
  • Identify actionable steps for selected ideas

Sprint Planning Meeting

Sprint planning meetings are fundamental in agile environments, setting the stage for the upcoming sprint.

Purpose Statement: To plan the work and set Objectives for the upcoming sprint.

Objectives:

  • Define sprint Objectives
  • Select tasks for the sprint
  • Estimate task effort
  • Allocate resources

8 Tips for Writing Better Meeting Purpose Statements

Crafting a precise meeting purpose doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It's about being clear, concise, and to the point. Here’s a quick guide to help you articulate your meeting’s purpose effectively:

Identify the Core Aim

Before diving into writing, pinpoint what you aim to achieve. Is it decision-making, information-sharing, problem-solving, or brainstorming?

Keep it Short

A meeting purpose should be a brief statement. It’s not about detailing the agenda but clarifying the central aim.

Align with Objectives

Ensure your purpose statement aligns with the meeting’s objectives. It should be the umbrella under which all objectives fall.

Use Action Verbs

Start with verbs like ‘determine’, ‘review’, ‘plan’, or ‘discuss’. This sets a proactive tone and clarifies the desired action.

Be Specific

Generalities can lead to confusion. Specify what the meeting will focus on, be it a project, a problem, or a set of decisions.

Avoid Jargon

Keep the language simple and jargon-free. This ensures everyone, regardless of their position or expertise, understands the purpose.

Review and Refine

Once drafted, review the purpose statement. Is it clear and direct? Refine as needed to ensure clarity and conciseness.

Share in Advance

Share the meeting purpose with participants beforehand. This way, everyone comes prepared, aligned on the meeting’s aim.

Using Claap to Keep Your Meetings on Track

Claap provides two simple tools to enhance your meeting efficiency: screen recording and meeting recording.

Use screen recording to share information through short videos before a meeting using Claap's Chrome extension or desktop app. You can even replace a meeting with a quick video, saving time while allowing your team to review the information at their convenience.

For the meetings you keep, use Claap's meeting recording to capture discussions and next steps.  It offers AI-powered summaries for easy post-meeting review of key points.

Both tools are designed to improve communication and keep meetings productive.

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