Top 5 Courses to Help You Have Better Meetings

by Jason Evanish, CEO Get Lighthouse, Inc.

Are your meetings productive? Or does your calendar look like a game of Tetris? 

What are you doing to improve their quality and make them more productive? How are you preparing for different types of meetings?

We’ve all been there - attending meetings that could have been an email or looking at our inbox during unnecessarily big group meetings. 

Everyone takes a big sigh of disappointment when the objective of a meeting is unknown, or you talk in circles for the 5th straight week. Or even worse, staring at each other with no certainty of what to say whether in a 1 on 1, or group meeting. 

So many meetings are a waste of time rather than a productivity enabler. 

better meetings mean not wasting time

Many feel this way.

Research from Atlassian and the Muse shows that:

  • 67% of executives think meetings don’t have a clearly defined purpose
  • 92% of people multitask during meetings
  • Managers lose 30% of their time in bad meetings that they could have invested in other productive tasks.

Despite all this, there is a better way. We’ve written about how to have more effective meetings in the past, and you may be wondering if there is an even more actionable and detailed way to fix your meetings?

In today’s post, we review 5 courses designed to help you accomplish more in a variety of different kinds of meetings.

However, this isn’t a direct side-by-side comparison where we tell you one option is better than the other. Rather, each course is a fit for different needs, experience levels, and contexts, so you can pick the one ideal for your specific situation.

have better meetings

The Top 5 Courses to Help You Have Better Meetings and Accomplish More

This post covers courses from five different authors. Here’s what you can expect to find in them in a nutshell:

Here’s a more detailed look into what each course offers, who it’s intended for, as well as some of the biggest pros and cons.

top meeting courses udemy facilitating meetings and groups

Facilitating Meetings and Groups | Udemy

If you’re a project manager, one of your most important tasks will be to facilitate group meetings effectively. This requires understanding everyone’s perspectives and goals, knowing how to keep participants engaged, how to resolve disagreements, and encourage problem-solving.

This course helps you do that and counts toward your PMP certification with 7.00 PDU credit hours. At 4 hours in length, it’s one of the most comprehensive options we’re covering in this post. It was created by LearnSmart, a company responsible for over 1,000 training programs and one that has worked with a broad range of Fortune 500 organizations.

In the program, you’ll be guided through a self pre-assessment process and then taught concepts such as:

  • How to be a successful group meeting facilitator and what skills you should focus on
  • The tools and strategies you need to guide everyone’s attention and encourage participation
  • How to arrive at decisions as a group and determine your next steps without people feeling left out
  • How to turn disagreements into actionable discussions and manage emotions
  • The different leadership styles you can apply, and more.

The course currently costs $85 but there are often discounts on Udemy so it may be a good idea to stay patient and wait for a better deal.

Before you buy

Here are a few things people didn’t like about LearnSmart’s course you should be aware of if you’re considering purchasing it.

While it’s comprehensive at 4 hours long, people have complained about it being unnecessarily drawn out at times.

Additionally, some of the course slides were overwhelmingly full of text and difficult to focus on while listening to the narrator at the same time.

Finally, there were issues of typos in presentation materials that isn’t mission-critical, but you’d expect a better finishing touch from an organization with so much experience creating courses.

The Bottom Line:

‘Facilitating Meetings in Groups’ is a great option for project managers looking to get or maintain their certification. However, it’s not oriented toward individual meetings or helping you improve your soft skills.

top courses leading effective meetings skillsoft

Leading Effective Meetings | Skillsoft

As the name suggests, this is a program of multiple resources bundled together. They include 3 video lessons for project managers that last a bit under 2 hours in total, as well as 7 e-books and 9 audio books on having better meetings from various experts.

Similar to the first course on the list, the video material gets you 2 PMP credit hours, but the rest of the content is not focused specifically on project management skills. 

It includes books that provide advice on:

  • The best meeting tools 
  • How to take notes efficiently
  • Research-based ways to make meetings less wasteful
  • 50+ activities for virtual meetings
  • Having less repetitive meetings, and more.

This course is available with a Skillsoft subscription that costs around $20/month and offers a 14-day free trial.

Before you buy

As comprehensive as these resources are, you’re not going to get insights from them quickly. After you complete the video material (which was created specifically for project managers), you’ll be reading through or listening to several books on various meeting topics, which takes quite a bit of time. If you’re a busy manager with a crazy schedule, that may be a deal-breaker.

The Bottom Line: 

This course was created primarily with group meetings in mind and offers no guidance for your 1:1s or other smaller-sided meetings. With that being said, the variety of topics, authors, and skills makes this a great pick for project managers looking to develop in other areas - especially given you’ll receive access to other useful courses on Skillsoft.

leading effective meetings udemy top courses on meetings

Leading Effective Meetings | Udemy

This course represents a good foundation for first-time managers who have no experience with structuring and facilitating meetings. It covers some of the meeting essentials you’ll need as you’re starting out, including:

  • The different types of meetings you need to have
  • Starting off strong in meetings
  • Knowing what to do when the meeting is over
  • Encouraging team members to contribute to the discussion

It places special emphasis on how you spend the time leading up to a meeting, choosing what topics to discuss, and making the most of it with an agenda. It also teaches you how to stay accountable, set goals, and follow through on them.

Unlike the other courses on this list, ‘Leading Effective Meetings’ gives advice on how to create simple, yet compelling presentations and keep team members engaged. It also guides you on when you actually need presentations to get your point across and when you’re better off without them.

Similar to the other Udemy course on this list, you may want to wait for one of their discount offers. Otherwise you'll find the full price is $95.

Before you buy

The biggest issue with this course can be summed up by the following review:

“A lot of time spent explaining items that could've been discussed in less than 1 min”

As we mentioned, this is a course specifically for new managers, but it falls into the trap of over-explaining simple ideas. As a result, it makes you spend time on broad topics while not including enough examples or tips specific to real-life examples.

Especially If you’re just starting out as a manager, you need pointers you can to apply to your job immediately and something that’s not super obvious. Unfortunately, you’ll have to listen to some pretty obvious things to get through this course. Presentation-wise, people have also complained about the narrator talking too quickly. 

The Bottom Line: 

Generally speaking, this is a good course for new managers who want to learn at a slow pace but it won’t offer much beyond that. If you’re a more experienced leader, you won’t have the patience to go the unnecessary padded sections of it.

having better meetings with linkedin

How to Have Fewer, Better Meetings | Linkedin

“Let’s have more meetings”, said no one, ever. A study published in HBR reported that 65% of workers said that meetings keep them from completing their own work.

The situation has only gotten worse since the beginning of COVID-19 and the emergence of the dreaded ‘Zoom fatigue’.

To help you counter this, the 37-minute course teaches you methods for deciding which meetings are worth having and saying ‘no’ to the wasteful ones.

You can think of it as a primer for helping you adopt healthier meeting habits. It offers 2-3 minute videos on things like preparing for meetings, defining their purpose, engaging attendees, avoiding common meeting mistakes, and more.

The course was created by Kevan Hall, an author who published 4 books on leadership and the CEO of a company that specializes in executive coaching.

What’s different about this course compared to the others on the list is that you’ll learn a systematic process for cutting out a large percentage of your unnecessary meetings. People have also praised the author’s clear delivery and practical tips included in the course.

You can get this course with a 30-day free trial of Linkedin Learning (after which you’ll have to pay $20/month) and easily cancel the subscription if you don’t like it.

Before you buy

At 37 minutes long, ‘How to Have Fewer, Better Meetings’ should be seen as a secondary resource that complements more comprehensive programs.

It also tends to focus more on telling you what to avoid than telling you what to do. Its narrow focus makes it an incomplete course if you’re a new manager looking to learn the essentials of running great meetings, but it tells you how you can avoid common mistakes.

One of the reviewers also points out an inconsistency: in one place, the instructor talks about your subjective opinion being a criterion for deciding if a meeting was successful. However, in a later chapter, he explains that you should only consider whether the agreed-upon objective of the meeting was achieved. And with only 37 minutes of content, you’re not going to get enough nuance to understand the difference between those competing suggestions. 

The Bottom Line:

Despite the course being short, the author’s experience, context-specific and actionable insights make this a great option if your goal is to systematically cut out unnecessary meetings, and do so fast. On the other hand, it’s not a good fit for you if you’re a new manager and want to learn the ins and outs of how to do your job.

having better meetings with lighthouse lessons

Lighthouse Lessons: The 1 on 1s Master Class

Our contribution to this list is focused on the most important meeting for managers: the 1 on 1. 

This program was designed for managers with busy schedules who want actionable insights they can apply to their team without being overwhelmed by hours of content. You can benefit from it regardless of your professional background and is great for anyone from beginner to mid-level of experience.

“The 1 on 1s Master Class” is the only course on this list that focuses on 1:1 meetings specifically. It covers a variety of topics to provide a lot of depth so you really understand the versatility of 1 on 1s, including how to:

  • Start 1:1s, prepare an agenda for them, and build consistency
  • How to prevent turnover of your best people by keeping their role fresh and growing
  • Build trust, rapport, and psychological safety to have healthy relationships
  • Give feedback to drive improvement and high performance
  • Use the meetings for both your best and struggling employees
  • What *not* to do in 1 on 1 meetings
  • More advanced techniques for senior managers like managing up, peer 1:1s, and more.

The lessons are bite-sized, but comprehensive. This is possible because they’re stretched out across 11 weeks to give you plenty of time to act on what you learn; you get 1 lesson per week, each with advice on specific actions to take right away to apply what you learned.

Another key benefit is that you can also get the Group Edition of the program to take the course with other managers at your company. When you do, you’ll receive a discussion agenda each week to get all the managers on your team talking about the lesson, sharing stories, and supporting one another, all without having to do any prep for that meeting yourself.

With a ~$100 price tag, Lighthouse Lessons represents great value for your money. Prices always go up as the kickoff date approaches, so reserve your spot as early as possible.

Before you buy

The 1 on 1s Master Class focuses solely on 1 on 1s, so it won’t help you have better stand-ups, project planning, or brainstorming sessions with your team. 

And as bite-sized as the lessons are (each one takes ~15 minutes to read and plan your weekly actions), 12 weeks of lessons mean you’re committing to making changes for the foreseeable future. It also doesn’t count any time you spend on further reading, watching videos, listening to related podcasts, or going deeper on a subject we discuss. 

With Lighthouse Lessons, It’s impossible to just fly through everything in a single weekend like you could a book or some of the courses above. 

Additionally, if you get the group edition, that’s another weekly meeting you’ll have to schedule with your team. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to make such a commitment, but you can read how Jornaya, a three-time participant of Lighthouse Lessons, benefited from the programs and especially the Group Edition. 

The Bottom Line:

Get this course if you don’t have time for hours and hours of training material, but you do want something actionable that you'll be able to see the difference quickly. That said, it is focused on 1 on 1 meetings only, so if you want to learn how to facilitate group meetings or improve your presentation skills, this isn’t a good fit for you.


With the help of the right course, you’ll be on your way to improving in one of the most important leadership areas - having great meetings.

If you need to lead better team meetings as a project manager, then Facilitating Great Meetings from Udemy is your best option.

If you’re looking for the best bundle and have enough time to level up by using multiple books, audiobooks, and video training modules, Courses for Leading Effective Meetings from Skillsoft is for you.

Linkedin’s How to Have Better, Fewer Meetings is a shorter video course that will teach you how to say no to wasteful group meetings, and set and follow up on clearly defined objectives in the ones you do have. It’s going to have the best time vs. impact results at just 37 minutes.

The second Udemy course on this list, Having Effective Meetings, is a good fit if you’re just starting out and facilitating individual and group meetings for the first time ever. 

Finally, Lighthouse Lessons, “The 1 on 1s Master Class” is great if you’re a really busy manager but need highly actionable tips to specifically improve your 1:1s. It also has a Group Edition all your managers can enroll in if you want a group to improve together. Because of the depth of each lesson and length of the program, it can help you improve regardless of whether you’re starting out or are looking to tune and level up your 1 on 1s.

The 1 on 1s Master Class starts soon, so to reserve your spot at the best price, reserve your spot here now. Or get the course for your entire team and see everyone improve the quality of their most important meetings.

Jason Evanish

Jason Evanish

As the founder and CEO of Get Lighthouse, Inc, Jason and the Lighthouse team have helped managers grow their leadership skills in dozens of countries around the world. They’ve worked with a variety of companies from non-profits to high growth startups, and government organizations to well known, publicly traded companies. Jason has also been featured in publications including NPR, the Wall Street Journal, and Fast Company.

Read more

Browse topics

Follow us:

Note: We do not accept guest posts, so please do not email us.

Sign up to learn the essential skills you need to become a great manager:

1 on 1 meeting software, leadership courses, and group training to help you be the manager you always wanted.

Do You Want to Learn
How to be a Great Manager?

Sign up to join over 27,000 managers who get our latest posts to learn:
  • How to motivate and retain your team;
  • How to have more effective one on ones;
  • Lessons from other managers & research that matters to you.
+ Free copy of our E-book: 10 Steps to having amazing 1 on 1s with your team
Learn how to have amazing 1 on 1s today
Sign up now to get your free book to learn how to have motivating, engaging 1 on 1s. Learn from great leaders like Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel, and workplace research from Stanford & Harvard.
Share via
Copy link