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When left unchecked, meetings tend to veer off from the main agenda and you will find people droning on and on for hours over an issue that could have been settle in less than half an hour. Meetings are important in the running of an organization but they tend to cost quite a lot in lost productivity if not managed properly.

Effective meeting management is critical if you want get action and results out of the discussions from the meeting and have all the attendees feeling motivated when they get of the meeting and not that they’ve wasted valuable working hours.

Here ways to have more effective meetings;

Have a clear agenda

Decide on the reasons for a meeting before calling for one and make sure you have clear objectives you hope to achieve through the meeting. This will help you determine which people needs to be invited.

Do not invite people to meetings over something that can be handled through a simple email or phone call.

Send the agenda to everyone involved so they can come prepared in order to make the meeting time short. Technologydreamer.Com recommends using organization apps like Evernote to note the meeting agenda and set up the date.

Invite only those who must be there

There is no reason to invite ten people when only four are needed in the meeting. Before setting a date for the meeting, trim your invite list to only those people that are important to the agenda to be discussed.

Inviting extras will them bored and wondering why they are there in the first place and will make your meeting unnecessarily time consuming. Have a lean meeting saves everyone’s time.

Have a schedule and stick to it

Have a definite starting time for your meeting and allocate each person a time slot to make their contribution. Do not let people speak unbridled as they may be tempted to veer off topic and thus lengthen the time for the meeting. Otherwise you might end up with only one person having made a contribution yet you invited six people.

Stop someone if you feel they are veering off the agenda or hogging the conversation if you want to have more effective meetings.

With proper time management skills, you should be able to end your meeting at the planned time. The advantage of being strict in your time management is that people are motivated to attend your meetings since they know the durations they will take.

Remove distractions

If possible, hold your meetings in quiet secluded place free of distractions and have people switch off their phones.

Open places with frequent interruptions can easily make people lose concentration on the objectives at hand and make the meeting drag on longer than initially planned.

Follow up

To ensure that everyone is on the same page, send a follow up communication of the summary of the meeting. This reminds people to implement whatever it was that was discussed on the meeting and also acts as a clarification in case someone might have had a different interpretation of the agenda.