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Being in a meeting as an employee may seem like a wasted exercise. If that is the case, you likely have been in a poorly-run meeting. The simple fact of the matter is that meetings are a necessity so that the team can communicate important information.

If meetings are something of a struggle for your business, here are a few ways that you can run a far more effective meeting.

Set an Agenda

There are far too many meetings where everyone involved riffs without a clear sense of purpose. Sure, the structure of a meeting may not seem sexy or interesting, but it is meant to keep the group on task and discuss important matters.

Setting an agenda provides the conversation with a compass. Even if the conversation wanders off, going back to the agenda is easy and gets things back on track. Don’t just wing it when it comes to meetings.

Start and End on Time

Getting people involved in meetings can be difficult enough. But when things either start late or run over, it can be even more detrimental to the overall purpose of the meeting. Getting the energy level right for a meeting is hard enough. Going off schedule is a great way to suck that energy right out.

Moreover, starting late or running over time shows a lack of structure. In a world where time is money, all of that sitting around is costing money to the bottom line. Get the points across within the given time, otherwise it can wait or communications can be made individually.

End on an Action Plan

Discussing the pertinent issues is a great way to conduct the bulk of the meeting. Just make sure that you leave a few minutes at the end of the meeting to discuss what to do next. Cover who is responsible for which items, what potential deadlines are, and any necessary actions that the team will need to take to get those items covered. Without a plan, it’s just a lot of talking.