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How to organize effective community meetings

Community meetings are an intrinsic and essential part of modern day community living. Organizing of such community meets ups in an organized and structured manner can allow members of the society to have an interactive session rather than a dull customary meeting or an erratic /disorderly discusssions and decision Here are some recommended tips that one can use in order to organize effective community/Committee meetings in one’s apartment or housing society that goes a long way in creating a platform for extensive thought exchange leading the improvement of the whole housing community.When you have formed special committees allow the committee to come out with their ideas and never hurry them.

Have a Preset Agenda: Having a preset or pre-planned agenda is recommended before scheduling any community meeting. The preset agenda can be put up on the society notice board or sent as dedicated email to the various community members. Having such a preset agenda allows members to think and reflect on the points and come prepared with their thoughts and ideas leading to a positive idea exchange. If the point of discussion is introduced in the meeting itself, chances are that not many people would hit upon unique and innovative solutions or ideas to tackle the problem at hand.

Don’t Mix Business with Pleasure: A cardinal sin committed by a lot of community meet ups is to mix serious discussions at social events. A dedicated society meeting not only brings a sense of professionalism, but also allows members to be prepared with the agenda under discussion allowing free flow of thoughts and ideas.

Have a Time Bound Discussion: In this day and age of fast paced life, long meetings can deter society members to actively attend and participate in the discussions. Having a time bound session pre decided considering the points of discussions not only make the meetings short, but also deters members from time wasting by exploring formal welcome address and long lectures.

Focus on the Main Agenda: One of the common mistakes overlooked by most organizing members is to digress from the main agenda. While a social interactive session can help build bonds between new society members and the management team, it is imperative to focus on the main agenda. The longer the meeting is dragged; chances are that members might not be interested in interactive discussions after a certain point..

Have an Interactive Session: It is the imperative of the members of the organizing committee to make all community meetings as interactive as possible . Unless there is a two way exchange of ideas and thoughts, community meetings may end up as a lecture with announcements and rules.

Create Awareness for Social Responsibilities: The role of a successful organizing community committee does not end with the meeting. Creating awareness on the agenda and the solutions discussed with all members of the housing society goes a long way in embedding the thoughts especially with the children and the elderly. Discussing informally with members of the housing society helps in creating awareness and allows all members to be a part of the overall social responsibility

Most meetings need people playing four roles

Most meetings need people playing four roles:

1-Leader convenes the meeting

2-Facilitator keeps discussion and decision-making process moving along

3-Recorder takes notes on paper, laptop or on flip charts

4-Timekeeper reminds leader when time almost up for a given item.

Make sure these roles are assigned prior to a meeting

Leader role

The leader convenes the meeting and takes responsibility for communication before and after. The leader may lead discussion on all items or may ask others, including a facilitator, to lead all or parts of the meeting. This enables the leader to be a full participant in discussions.

Facilitator role

The facilitator keeps the discussion and decision-making process moving along. The facilitator takes responsibility for the process, but should not be involved in the content of the meeting. A facilitator is especially useful if the leaders holds a very strong opinion on an agenda item. Having a facilitator enables the leader to be a full participant.

Recorder role

The recorder takes notes on paper, laptop or on flip charts. Meeting notes should be distributed as soon after the meeting as possible. The longer the lag, the less confidence the members have that their investment will result in action. For groups that meet regularly, the recorder is responsible for keeping previous meeting notes and agendas in one place where they can be referenced later, such as through a shared network drive or a notebook, etc.


The timekeeper reminds leader when time almost up for a given item. A stop watch or small clock is invaluable

ways in which feedback is with meetings

Develop your feedback skills by using these few rules, and you’ll soon find that you’re much more effective.

  1. Feedback should be about behaviour not personality

The first, and probably the most important rule of feedback is to remember that you are making no comment on what type of person they are, or what they believe or value. You are only commenting on how they behaved. Do not be tempted to discuss aspects of personality, intelligence or anything else. Only behaviour.

  1. Feedback should describe the effect of the person’s behaviour on you

After all, you do not know the effect on anyone or anything else. You only know how it made you feel or what you thought. Presenting feedback as your opinion makes it much easier for the recipient to hear and accept it, even if you are giving negative feedback. After all, they have no control over how you felt, any more than you have any control over their intention. This approach is a blame-free one, which is therefore much more acceptable.

  1. Feedback should be as specific as possible

Especially when things are not going well, we all know that it’s tempting to start from the point of view of ‘everything you do is rubbish’, but don’t. Think about specific occasions, and specific behaviour, and point to exactly what the person did, and exactly how it made you feel. The more specific the better, as it is much easier to hear about a specific occasion than about ‘all the time’!

  1. Feedback should be timely

It’s no good telling someone about something that offended or pleased you six months later. Feedback needs to be timely, which means while everyone can still remember what happened. If you have feedback to give, then just get on and give it. That doesn’t mean without thought. You still need to think about what you’re going to say and how.

  1. Pick your moment

There are times when people are feeling open to feedback and times when they aren’t. Have a look at our page on emotional awareness and work on your social awareness, to help you develop your awareness of the emotions and feelings of others. This will help you to pick a suitable moment. For example, an angry person won’t want to accept feedback, even given skilfully. Wait until they’ve calmed down a bit.

Running Effective Meetings: Preparation for Meetings

No matter how informal the meeting, preparation in advance can improve the effectiveness of the meeting itself. When planning a meeting, visualize in advance how the meeting will unfold: who will stand where, how long the presentations will last, how the meeting will be organized.

When sending materials in advance of the meeting, be clear what home work you are asking attendees to do. For example, if you send a document for review, ask for comments on specific aspects of the document – different reviewers are asked to comment on substance, design, and editorial issues. If you’ve been asked to prepare for a meeting, allow plenty of time to finish the work before the meeting starts. If you haven’t been asked to prepare, double-check with the organizer to be sure nothing is expected of you in advance. Occasionally it is necessary to ask someone to speak on a topic for which they have not been asked to prepare. Courtesy dictates that you inform the others in attendance that the person is speaking off the cuff.

Even if you expect guests to prepare for the meeting, bring enough copies of the agenda and of the handouts for everyone who attends, along with notes from the previous meeting if applicable.

Choose a meeting location that suits the occasion – right size, convenient location, appropriate technological capabilities, proper ventilation, space to hang coats, etc. Then, make sure the room is outfitted with the appropriate amenities and equipment to make the guests comfortable and the meeting effective.

Tables and Chairs
There should be enough room for everyone to sit down and spread out at the conference table. It is a show of courtesy and respect not to make guests bring their own chairs to a meeting. For a large meeting or conference, it may be necessary to arrange with facilities professionals to provide sufficient chairs. Investigate lead times for such services as soon as you know you will be organizing a meeting.

If the room is cool at the beginning of the meeting, it will warm up to a comfortable temperature as the meeting unfolds. Check lighting, including dimmer switches. Practice dimming the lights and covering the windows for audiovisual presentations. For a larger meeting, be sure the speaker is well lit and visible from the back of the room.

Make sure all guests are fully able to participate: the room is accessible by wheelchair, interpreters are present, and other disabilities are accommodated.

Test all microphones and amplification equipment before guests arrive. Stand in various parts of the room to be sure the sound is neither echoed nor muffled. Check battery levels on cordless equipment.

Arrange for flipcharts and markers, notebooks, pens, sticky notes, pencils, nametags, podiums, projection screens, video equipment, and other materials required by the speakers. If the meeting is off site, it may be worth bringing your own meeting supplies if you are unsure about the venue.

Note Taking
One person should be responsible for keeping an official record of the meeting. Designate that person in advance. Formal meetings may call for an audiotape record. Use video sparingly, for example at conferences and shareholders’ meetings. Video makes the tenor of the meeting more formal and may discourage participation.

If guests are coming in from outside the organization, refreshments are in order. Order bottled water and a variety of other drinks and food that is easy to eat without spilling or leaving crumbs. Decide in advance what restaurant will supply lunch to avoid unnecessary discussions, and take into account your guests’ dietary restrictions when reviewing menus. Regular work meetings may not call for food and beverages.

Give attendees a rest approximately every 90 minutes. Some meetings may need only 5- to 10-minute breaks. If refreshments are served, a 15-minute break is typically needed. As the meeting breaks, say specifically what time the meeting will resume to ensure that everyone returns promptly.

If the room has a telephone, make sure it is set to “Do Not Disturb.” If necessary, post a sign on the door saying a meeting is in session. Let support staff know what types of interruptions are permitted

Helping People to Contribute Effectively During Meetings

There are many reasons for non-participation during meetings including lack of preparation, shyness, being overawed by rank or someone’s specialist knowledge, being put off by another’s aggressiveness or dominant behaviour or just pure laziness.

To draw out the silent type and protect them from intimidation it might be helpful to ask questions that tap their expertise, praise their good ideas, openly note their contributions, call on those that are shy or junior first.

Of course you may also have to limit the long winded. This can be done by setting the ground rules at the start including how long any one person can speak for at a time. You should also request that remarks be confined to the topic of discussion. If someone still insists on an opera length speech you may have to tactfully but firmly insist that you move on.

It is equally important to remain focused on the agenda and what needs to be achieved. To do this you will want to summarise progress and remind everyone of the meeting’s objectives. You will also have to interrupt if the discussion gets out of hand, off topic, too heated or rowdy. Act quickly if a serious disagreement arrises.

Sometimes a participant may have something worthy to contribute but may not be the best public speaker. At such times it is the chair’s job to rescue that person by helpfully summating what they think he/she was trying to say.

As the meeting chair you should work to encourage diverse points of view, especially if it is a problem solving or brainstorming session. Well run meetings enable a group of people to achieve more than the sum of their individual efforts, through the creation of synergy and the combination of their collective expertise.

As the chair you should encourage all opinions and perspectives to be explored but be prepared to hightlight bias and oversights. Some participants will need to broaden their viewpoints while others must be encouraged to be more realistic.

To generate ideas you may want to try brainstorming, asking open questions (ones that cannot be simply answered by yes or no), encourage partial ideas, reserve your own ideas until the end, clarify and paraphrase for others (make sure you ask them to confirm that you have it right), and the use of verbal and non-verbal reinforcement.

Tips for Making Better Contributions in Meetings

There seem to be two kinds of people in business meetings: those in love with the sound of their own voice, and those who don’t make a peep. We’ve all been there, wishing someone would either be quiet or speak up, but finding the right balance is easier said than done – a big reason many meetings fail in their main purpose, which is to align views and plans toward some shared goal.

We can’t always silence the guy needing to be the smartest one in the room or coax comments from the shy bunnies in the back, but we can calibrate our own input in more productive ways. I’m usually on the quieter side; not out of modesty but in fear of saying something dumb. Even so, I’ve picked up a few lessons on how to make better contributions to meetings.

If you’re prone to “over contribute,” think about:

1. Pace yourself. A good rule is to simply take your turn and no more; if there are five in the meeting, try not to make more than a fifth of the comments. It’s seen as polite and will keep you from dominating the discussion.

2. Link your comments to those made by others. Rather than waiting for someone to quit talking so you can start again, try connecting your words to theirs … “Susan makes an interesting point, which makes me think…” is a good way to craft a sense of continuity and conversation, rather than a series of individual statements. It also suggests you are…

3. Listening. The second biggest sin of the non-stop-talkers is failing to really hear what others are saying. If you actually listen to the discussion, you may find you don’t need to waste time repeating a certain point. And it will help you avoid the first greatest sin, which is…

4. Do not cut others off. The quickest way to diminish your idea or negate your comment, no matter how brilliant it is, is to offer it by cutting another off or talking over them. Remember, the goal isn’t to script the meeting according to your views, but to help everyone reach a shared point of view.

For those who abide by the rule of “better to remain silent and avoid looking the fool, rather than opening your mouth and removing all doubt,” you have a point. Sometimes you simply don’t have anything to offer. More often, however, you do – you’re probably just not 100% sure of its value. For you (and I offer this humbly and with sympathy):

1. Jot down your thought before speaking it. This will force you to “package” it concisely and carefully, and allow you to offer it more confidently.

2. Choose your timing. I like to wait until everyone else has spoken in order to get a sense of who might be in agreement and who’s not. Even if you’re asked to comment early, there’s no harm in suggesting that you’d like to hear the views of others first.

3. Use the interrogative. Not sure how your comment might be interpreted? Pose it as a question: “Have we tried / Is it feasible to…?”. If the idea or comment is truly unworkable, you’re giving others a way to gently put it aside. And if it’s good, someone else can confirm it – making at least two people around the table in support of it.

I can’t guarantee these will work in every meeting, of course, but I’m pretty confident they will never hurt a discussion, either. Bottom line: if it feels like you’re talking too much, you probably are. And if you’ve got something to say, get it on the table. Otherwise, why have a meeting?

14911 Formal Meetings

14911 Formal Meetings



  • Short name: Event Management Training (Weddings/Conferences 150 guest+)
  • Full description: 14911 Co-ordinate meetings, minor events and travel arrangements
  • Accredited: Yes, Public SETA NQF Accredited
  • SETA: Public Education & Training Authority (P Seta)
  • NQF: 3
  • Credits: 6
  • Duration: 2 days
  • Re-Assessment fees: None
  • Hidden fees: None
  • Recognition: Based on the National Qualifications Framework that is Nationally Accepted in South Africa.
  • Success rate of learner: Our success rate for complete assignments and certified learners currently is estimated at 99%.
  • Short-cuts: We don’t take any short-cuts such as POE building in the class and follow all the guidelines stipulated by SAQA and the SETA.
  • Location: Public courses in KZN Durban but we do from time to time schedule classes in Cape Town and Gauteng.
  • Discounts: We offer a members discount for returning students, pensioners and NGO discount. Group discounts on own venues are also offered.

BOOKINGS: Book online through our booking site here.


Currently we have the following supporting structures in place for our members:

  • Telephone support.
  • Whatsapp –
    • Cell. 0825507946 Tel. 0867227014 English, Tel. 0318115749 English/Zulu.
  • Helpdesk – – 7 days a week (integrated email and sms notifications).
  • Members private forum with model answers to all  activities including JOB opportunities.
  • Check-out our reviews:

BOOKINGS: Book online through our booking site here.



  •  This course is based on the Unit Standards 13929 + 14911 – click here to read more and here
  • People credited with this unit standard are able to:
    • Identifying a date, venue and time for meeting or event
    • Liasing or negotiating with meeting attendees regarding availability
    • Booking venues and catering
    • Finalising meeting room arrangements
    • Making travel, car hire and accommodation arrangements
    • Notifying and confirming arrangements with attendees or stakeholders
    • Processing and distributing all documentation required for the meeting or event
    • Prepare for a meeting
    • Contribute to meeting discussions
    • Contribute to group and/or team functions.
  • Learners will be learning towards obtaining a national qualification at level 3 or are working in an administrative environment, including SMME`s (Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises), where the acquisition of competence against this standard will add value to the learner`s job, or chances of finding employment.
  • Learners will be well positioned to extend their learning and practice into other areas in the business environment, or to strive towards professional standards and practice at higher levels.
    • To provide fundamental knowledge of the areas covered
    • For those working in, or entering the workplace in the area of Business and Organisational Communication
    • As additional knowledge for those wanting to understand the areas covered
  • Each learner will receive a learner guide and workbook during the contact session that will assist them with the building of their POE (Portfolio of Evidence).
  • Learner will receive full instruction from us before the course to assist with the preparation of the course. Where possible additional resources will be provided to learners who are not able to get there resources.
  • Learners are required to apply skills and knowledge obtained on the course in the workplace. As learners apply these skills, they produce evidence, which needs to be compiled into a portfolio of evidence (POE). This POE is submitted to Trainyoucan for assessment. Learners will receive a workbook and portfolio guide, which will guide them through the process. Any additional resources required will be provided by Trainyoucan to the learner, free of charge.


  • Wedding Planners.
  • Hotel Staff.
  • Guesthouse Staff.
  • Travel Agents
  • Event Managers.
  • Event Managing Companies.
  • Exhibition Organisers.
  • Restaurateurs.
  • Florists and décor vendors.
  • Those involved in the tourism industry.
  • Entrepreneurs.


  • Basic communication skills (English = reading and writing skills on a NQF level 4 or equal to Metric Level)
  • Able to attend the contact session and any of our workshops offered.
  • Access to email and where possible to the internet for research.

Learner preparation for the contact session (Classroom Training)


  • Attending the full contact session. (Classroom Session)
  • Certified copy of ID and a detailed CV for registration purposes. (Indicating previous workplace experience)
  • Large A4 lever arch file.
  • Organisation or Provider policies where available or at least knowledge of the organisations assessment policy if any. These might include: *The assessment Policy of your organisation, The Moderation Policy of your organisation, The RPL Policy of your organisation, The re-assessment policy of your organisation, The appeals policy of your organisation. Where possible will TRAINYOUCAN provide template policies to learners who do not have access to these policies.
  • Copy of your organisations Assessment Guides if any implemented.
  • Visit your SETA’s website and determine if they have any policies or rules of contact for their assessors available. Where not possible will TRAINYOUCAN provide a copy of this.
  • Visit any SETA of your choice and obtain a copy of the Assessors Registration template that you must complete on completion and submit to your SETA. This is very helpful if you have any questions or answers regarding the completion of this document. (Where possible will TRAINYOUCAN provide copies of this.
  • Research the meaning and purpose of RPL.
  • Research the meaning and purpose of OBE Education in South Africa.

b) OPTIONAL: (Not required but for those who want to start with the research)

  • Laptop, I-Apple, I-Pot or I-Orange : Please bring! We will provide FREE WIFI Spot.
  • Internet access to view additional support on our Forum

How do we comply with the Unit Standards and Credits



The criteria for the accreditation of training providers define a number of requirements that include:

  • Administrative procedures and record keeping and policies.
  • Management review
  • Authorization of affiliates
  • Tutor selection, training and performance review
  • Issuance of training certificates
  • Learner Support
  • Delivery, Assessment and Moderation practices

NOTE: There are basically two different types of accreditation:

  1. The training provider or the institute must be accredited by a SETA. “ETQA” (Their offices, policies and procedures. This can be any SETA = does not matter what type of courses they offer.)
  2. Each learning programme or qualification is accredited with the relevant SETA “ETQA” who is responsible for this programme. Also note that the word “accreditation” does not mean they SETA accredited. It must say “NQF Accredited”.

How to confirm that you are not caught in a SCAM!

Before you can start with any course you should ask the following questions:

  • Is the course accredited and with what SETA? (Phone the SETA and ask to speak to the ETQA Manager or check their website for detail.
  • What is the process and duration from start to completion?
  • Are there any additional fees for support to re-submission?
  • Entry Requirements? Do you charge for registration and why?
  • What discount can I get if I do more courses with your institute?
  • What after support and resources to you offer?
  • Can you provide a list of references or reviews of learners who completed these courses before?
  • Is this course even the correct course for what I’m trying to do?