1) Define the goal.
Having the meeting is not your goal, producing results via the meeting is what you want to do. Make it clear up front to your meeting participants what the objectives and goals are for your meeting so everyone will come prepared. It also helps people stay on topic.
2) Set the agenda.
To help you stay on track during the meeting, prepare an agenda and distribute it to all the participants beforehand. This would list important talking points, goals, and perhaps who should lead certain topics of conversation.
3) Allow everyone to participate.
Meetings should give everyone the opportunity to express themselves. Allowing everyone to give their feedback and opinions is important. Give everyone a chance to have the floor, otherwise it’s a waste of their time.
4) Keep the meeting on schedule.
Someone should be accountable for keeping the meeting on track, on a timely schedule, and sticking to the agenda. Stay on course to meet those goals.
5) Define the answers and action steps.
Discussions are good but coming out of the meeting with answers and next steps is what’s it all about. Getting those results is your end goal and the sign of a successful meeting, not to mention a great use of your time.
6) Distribute meeting minutes.
Before the meeting starts, designate a person to take notes. By distributing those notes afterward, you are confirming everyone is on the same page and has agreed on the same things. It makes your next steps clear and effective, eliminating any misunderstandings ahead of time.