Everybody has been sucked into a horrible meeting at some point. People arrive on time, only to find out that the meeting will begin 10 minutes late due to technical difficulties. What is on the agenda? It’s unclear, and nobody seems to have a clue as to what is going on.

Who is the person in control? Some people begin to propose ideas in some meetings, while others dismiss them out of hand. Nothing is truly settled, and the discussion comes to a close as people silently lament that they wasted an hour of their time.

There is a better way to do things. Any of these methods and recommendations, regardless of their user’s position and the type of meeting they are planning, may be used.

Create a Clear Agenda

Although it may seem like an obvious prerequisite, many meetings begin without a clear understanding of their objective. Whether it’s outlined in a handout, scribbled on a whiteboard, or stated openly at the opening, everyone should understand why they’re gathering and what they intend to do during the meeting.

A discussion agenda serves as a compass for the discussion, allowing the group to be brought back on track whenever the discourse veers off course. If meeting organizers make certain that an agenda is in place before the meeting begins, everyone will immediately fall into place.

Start and End as Scheduled

Nothing saps a room’s enthusiasm quite like waiting for the person in charge to appear. Why do some people in positions of authority make the mistake of being late for meetings? Is it just because they’re so busy? Is keeping everyone waiting for them a slight joy, a reminder that their time is somehow more valued than everyone else’s?

Of course, time is money, and wasting time attempting to estimate when the manager will arrive is wasting valuable resources. Employees take their cues from the one in charge when setting an organization’s informal norms. Meetings will begin on schedule if that individual wants them to.

Take Time to Discuss What is Next

Every meeting should have a few minutes set aside at the end to discuss the future steps. During this time, it should be determined who is responsible for what and when the deadlines are met. In any other case, all your efforts throughout the conference will have been for naught.