Welcome back! Smart Brevity™ count: 326 words ... 1½ mins. Copy edited by Amy Stern.

1 big thing: The hot 15-minute meeting

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The most popular — and fastest-growing — type of meeting is the brief and efficient 15-minute block.

  • Some 60% of meetings are now 15 minutes long, The Wall Street Journal reports from Microsoft Teams data.

Why it matters: Dragging or unnecessary meetings suck up our energy and waste our time — and they're rarely effective.

Here's a distillation of our top tips and tricks for structuring meetings, from Mike and Jim's book with their co-founder Roy Schwartz, Smart Brevity.

  1. Think small. Don't be afraid of micro-meetings. Fifteen minutes is great, but sometimes you only need ten or even five minutes to sync up with a colleague, and there's no rule that says you can't schedule a meeting that short.
  2. Break habits. Many of us schedule 30-minute meetings just because our calendars default to that, but really think about how much time is needed for your catch-up.
  3. Be punctual. Chitchat is your reward for arriving early. Conversation about what's on the docket for the weekend or what you had for lunch should stop at the meeting's scheduled start time. This also signals to all the attendees that you value their time.
  4. Present with purpose. An easy way to lose your audience is a bloated PowerPoint. Six slides (with few words, clear points and color!) is a good rule of thumb.
  5. Include everyone. A meeting isn't efficient if you hear the same voices over and over again. Whether you're leading the group or are an attendee, make an effort to bring in the thoughts and ideas of quieter participants.

Go deeper: Check out Chapter 16 of Smart Brevity for more on the art of brief meetings.

🍍Tropical sunset

Photo: Anna Claire T.

Finish Liner Anna Claire T. closes out tonight's edition with this photo taken in O'ahu.