A person standing in front a  group of people presenting ideas from a presentation board. Graphic Source: Canva

I don't know about you, but I have sat in countless meetings where only one or two people did most of the talking, meeting times ran over, and when they finally did end no key decisions were made.

I've learned that moderating a meeting is all about keeping track of:

  • Time

  • Content

  • People

  • Decisions

Moderate a meeting with confidence and get things done!

Moderating Time In A Meeting

Clock with a checkmark Graphic Source: Canva

When moderating time in a meeting, consider these 3 things:

  1. Start the meeting on time to help build trust with the attendees. Start on time even if everyone hasn't arrived yet. You could say: "Thank you all for coming. We'll get started now and others may still be trickling in."

 a hand holding a stop watch

  1. Track your time by recruiting a timekeeper, preparing a meeting agenda with time points, and saying, “We're getting off topic. Can we return to…?”

  1. End the meeting on time to show you're keeping your word and respecting the attendees' other commitments. End on time even if you didn’t get through everything you wanted to. You might say: “We'll have to finish here. Our next meeting will be…”


You're planning a meeting for a new team project. What items should appear on your timed agenda? Select all that apply:

Moderating Content In A Meeting

Checklist Graphic Source: Canva

When moderating content in a meeting, remember to follow the agenda. When the meeting starts to go off the rails, call attention to it. Say something like...

  • "I'd like to return to point number two on the agenda."

  • "In the interest of ending on time, let's pick up with..."

  • "It's time to wrap up now."

Moderating People In A Meeting

While no one likes to be put in a box, in a meeting it's common for four distinct personality types to emerge (some people can be a blend of two or more personality types).

Knowing about the different personalities can help you prepare to manage people in a meeting.

People in a meeting sitting in a semi circle Graphic Source: Canva

  • Dominant: This extroverted type will usually speak first and most often and for the longest period of time in a meeting. They're assertive, driven, and strong.

  • Expressive: This extroverted type speaks before they think and is fun-loving and animated.

  • Analytical: This introverted type takes a methodical, logical, and measured approach when sharing in a meeting.

  • Amiable: This introverted type avoids conflict and has a "goes along to get along" energy.

Managing Personalities Made Simple

Two people sitting in a chair with thought bubbles. Shapes in the thought bubbles.

Graphic Source: Canva

Dominant & Expressive

They'll do most of the talking and may not leave space for others. They require your patience and boundaries as they express themselves.

Try saying, "Thank you for your input. I would also like to hear from..."

Analytical and Amiable

They're more reserved by nature. One option to help draw them out and not put them on the spot is to use technology and poll the meeting.

Check out these options for polling platforms. 🗳️


You asked an expressive type on your team to conduct a poll for an online meeting, but they'd prefer not to because they're not tech-savvy. What are some alternate tasks you could offer them?

Moderating Decisions In A Meeting

Man with finger to chin with question marks floating around his head. Graphic Source: Canva

Not all meetings need a decision to be made!

Some meetings can be for:

  • Sharing information

  • Brainstorming new ideas

  • Asking for feedback

two note pages with arrows pointing from one page to the next. When sharing information, consider saying:

I wanted to give project updates.

When brainstorming new ideas, consider saying:

There are no bad ideas. We would like to jot down everything that comes to mind.

a sign that says When asking for feedback, consider saying:

Today we are working towards making a decision on _______. Because this decision affects everyone, I would like to hear from as many people as possible.

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When decisions do need to be made, it's helpful to include that in the agenda under the heading "Purpose of the Meeting".

For example:

Purpose of the Meeting

  • To decide what types of training would add the most value to our team.

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Hot tip! It's a good idea to send out relevant information ahead of the meeting (like a list of potential training options for the above example) so that participants can come prepared to make decisions.

Take Action

The next time you're in a meeting, keep a notepad handy. Jot down how the meeting moderator runs the meeting from open to close. You'll learn a lot and be able to pick up more helpful hints.

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