Organizational Development Consultant and Leadership Coach

20 Techniques to Improve Meeting Productivity: #7 The Bell

January 6, 2014

“I have trouble calling our meetings to order. No one can hear me when other people are talking, even with a microphone. This is a problem before we begin, when we come back from breaks, and when we are using small group discussions. I nearly end up with laryngitis. There has to be an easier way.”



THE BELL is an effective and simple productivity technique to communicate to meeting participants that it is time to reconvene. Using THE BELL can save your voice and make you heard above the crowd.

When to Use THE BELL

  • When you want to indicate that the meeting is starting
  • When you want to bring small groups back together into a large group again
  • When the situation has gotten out of control or off the subject

How to Use THE BELL

1. It is a good idea to mention the purpose and use of THE BELL the first time you use it with a meeting group. Be sure you ask your participants for their support in helping you keep the meeting on schedule.

NOTE: Purchase a small dinner bell or customer service bell for your meetings. Both are inexpensive and easy to locate. Customer services bells can typically be found at your local office supply store, but you can use any bell that is not too shrill and obnoxious. Be sure that your bell can be heard above the sound of participants’ voices.

2. Simply ring the bell at all appropriate times to reconvene your meeting group.


THE BELL is a technique to communicate that it is time to begin. It acts as a friendly and easily heard reminder that it is time to focus energy on the meeting.

1. Introduce THE BELL technique.

2. Ring THE BELL at appropriate times to reconvene your meeting group.

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