Our Certified Master Facilitators work in a variety of industries all over the world. Their expertise and well-honed instincts are invaluable for productive and highly-focused meetings. Below are a few easy and practical suggestions on how to host your own targeted and efficient business meeting.

Invite the Right People

Not everyone in your office (or even a department) needs to attend every schedule meeting. Having only the right stakeholders at your meeting ensures that everyone has a meaningful contribution to make. You don’t have to deal with bored attendees (because they have nothing to do with the matter at hand) or participants who make irrelevant comments (because they do not know what the meeting is really about).

Devise a Tight Agenda

Coming up with concise topics for your meeting will keep it focused and running smoothly. It will also prevent your participants from raising other, non-related issues or concerns during the meeting. Make sure all your invited attendees receive a copy of the agenda one or two days before the meeting. On the day of the meeting, stick to your agenda; do however, take note of important side issues that may be raised in the course of the discussion. Perhaps you can set another meeting to deal with them if the group deems them to be important enough.

Set Strict Ground Rules

An efficient meeting can easily be set off-course by a participant with an axe to grind or pet topics they want the group to address but are not on the agenda. Be clear on the onset that topics not on the agenda will not be discussed (but may be tabled for another meeting).

Set a time limit for sharing and don’t be timid about stepping in when one participant is constantly ignoring it. Unambiguous ground rules make it clear who is in charge and go a long way in eliciting proper behavior among your participants.

Have Meeting Equipment and Tools Ready

Nothing can derail a meeting more than a piece of vital equipment that suddenly dies in the middle of an important presentation. Have back-up plans in place in case of any equipment malfunction to keep your meeting humming along nicely.