Effective meetings are the keys to project progression, productive training and smooth overall workflow. Successful meeting facilitation employs various important aspects, and none more vital than how to end a meeting.

Ending a meeting leaves attendees with either a good or negative feeling. Use these five hacks to make certain your next meeting ends with attendees realizing the value of the gathering.

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No. 1: End on a positive note. Even if there has been tension and difference of opinion, strive to end the meeting harmoniously. A positive ending creates goodwill in attendees, instead of them walking away grumbling the meeting was a waste of time.

No. 2: Wind down before the scheduled end time. Savvy meeting facilitation requires an eye on the clock. Wrap up discussions a few minutes before the end time, so the presenter has time for some closing comments. Nothing ruins a meeting like going way past the scheduled ending time.

Related: Video: 5 Reasons to take The Effective Facilitator

No. 3: Reiterate its overall objective. Closing comments, like opening comments, need to include the overall goal of the meeting. It ties all the discussions together, and reminds participants of the objective the meeting achieved.

No. 4: Connect with the participants one last time. Meeting facilitators should spend a little time at the end of the meeting recognizing exemplary participants who contributed valuable ideas. Instead of rushing back to work or another meeting, stand at the door/log off last and thank participants for attending. Just a few seconds of one-on-one attention creates a positive reaction in most people.

Related: Register for our next webinar on Facilitation

No. 5: Schedule follow-up plans. Before the meeting adjourns, set the next step in place. Whether it’s another meeting to measure progress or email follow up, ensure that every participant understands the next point of contact.

Knowing how to effectively end a meeting is a key component of successful meeting facilitation. By implementing these five hacks, meetings can be closed in such a way the participants understand the value of the meeting, feel connected to the project, and begin to prepare for the next step.