Seminar Instructors: Davida H Charney, PhD & AJ Josefowitz, PhD

Upcoming Course Dates: March 23, 2018

Meetings are held in nearly every workplace and organization yet they are dreaded by nearly everyone who has to lead and/or attend them. Meetings waste time and energy if they are poorly planned or filled with people who don’t stay engaged or move toward decisions. This seminar offers practical steps for making your meetings more productive, no matter whether you are a leader or attendee, whether you’ve been at it a while or are just getting started.

Making Meetings Matter

Making Meetings Matter addresses the seemingly ubiquitous problem of poorly designed and facilitated meetings, and provides practical tools and strategies to assure meeting effectiveness and productivity.

The seminar examines the four elements that lay the foundation for planning and executing an effective meeting:

  • Determining meeting purpose and desired outcomes
  • Conducting an analysis of key stakeholders
  • Selecting decision-making method(s)
  • Identifying participant roles

  • Making Meetings Matter focuses on improving the entire meeting experience: preparation, participation and facilitation, decision-making, and follow-up.

    Because decision-making is often a meeting's most critical outcome and objective, this seminar devotes a considerable amount of time explaining alternative decision-making methods and provides guidelines for matching appropriate decision-making methods with meeting objectives and circumstances.

    In addition to decision-making, this seminar explores the powerful role agendas play in meeting planning and success; effective meeting processes and rules; managing, but not discouraging dissent; and reducing meeting distractions.

    Learning Outcomes

    Participants in this seminar will learn:

  • How to identify the management styles and practices of your organization
  • How to use meeting agendas as planning tools
  • Strategies for setting (or resetting) productive meeting ground rules
  • Strategies for managing dissent and making decisions
  • Strategies for reducing distractions during meetings
  • How to put these new strategies into practice effectively

  • Participant Input

    Seminar participants will be invited (but not required) to submit information regarding their experience with unsuccessful past meetings (poor agenda design, not achieving meeting objectives, lack of agreement/decision-making, etc.) to the faculty leading the course.

    Participants will also be invited to participate in a pre-seminar online survey describing an upcoming meeting they would like to develop during the seminar. These cases may be chosen for use in small-group exercises.

    Making Meetings Matter

    Location: UT Austin Campus
    Upcoming Courses: March 23, 2018
    Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Seminar Pricing
    • Standard Fee: $750
    • Early Bird Registration: $562.50 (25% discount; ends three months prior to seminar date)
    • UT Staff/Alumni: $600 (20% discount)
    • HDO Master's Alumni: $200
    • Group Pricing
    • Certificate Seeker Discount: Making Meetings Matter is applicable to participants pursuing the Organizational Improvement (OI) and Personal Leadership (PL) Certificate Programs.
    Seminar Fee Includes:
    • Course Registration
    • Parking
    • WiFi Access
    • Lunch 
    • Refreshments
    • Course Materials
    If you have questions prior to registering, please see our Professional Training FAQ or contact Lewis Miller, HDO's Marketing Coordinator, at / 512-232-8330.



    Please select your preferred date below:
       March 23, 2018
    CharneyDavida Charney has been a professor in UT Austin's Department of Rhetoric and Writing for nearly 20 years. In addition to rhetorical theory, she is an experienced teacher of business and technical communication as well as public policy argument. She is an experienced meeting-goer and planner, having served as a member and/or chair for numerous faculty committees, association boards, and local advocacy groups.

    AJ JosefowitzAJ Josefowitz is a leadership and organization development consultant and coach who honed his craft through more than 30 years of working in global Fortune 500 companies coaching leaders and designing development programs and processes. AJ provides insightful diagnoses and creative solutions to an array of leadership and organization development matters through individual coaching, team development, and leadership workshops.

    A New Yorker at heart, AJ has been a resident of Austin, TX for the past 21 years and now calls it home. He has a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota.
    The majority of participants in our Seminars and Certificate Programs are mid- and upper-level professionals working in the business, nonprofit, government, or military sectors; however, professionals at all levels of experience are welcome to participate. There are no prerequisites for enrolling in an HDO Professional Seminar.

    While all HDO Professional Seminars are developed with wide-ranging applicability in mind, the following individuals and groups will likely find Making Meetings Matter most directly relevant to their work:

    • Mid- to top-level executives at for-profit firms
    • Managers and directors of nonprofit organizations
    • Staff and employees at for-profit and nonprofit organizations
    • Members of advocacy groups and Board members of community organizations
    • Public officials (elected and appointed)
    • Anyone who regularly runs and participates in meetings and wants to get more out of them
    For participants coming in for seminars from outside the Austin area, there are several hotels near campus, many within walking distance.HDO recommends the following hotels:

    HDO works with these many of these venues on a regular basis. If you need assistance selecting a hotel, please contact Jessica Crawford, HDO's Senior Administrative Associate at 512-232-7343 or

    On-campus parking is covered for all participants for the day of their seminar. For transit information, please visit Capital Metro's website.


    The course featured well-rounded discussion with a great group of participants. The faculty leaders encouraged questions and addressed real-world applications.

    – Pratik Mhatre, Data & Research Administrator, Institute for Public School Initiatives at UT Austin


    I’ve been in Executive Management for over 20 years. The courses I took in the HDO program helped me to gain a fresh perspective on management; specifically, on how people work. I highly recommend taking a seminar or obtaining a certification in this program.

    – Dorothy A. Benavidez, Executive Vice President, CRAssociates, Inc.


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