#2: Create Meeting Objectives
Craft a short statement that captures the essence of the primary purpose of the meeting in action-oriented language. For example, Generate ideas to overcome our funding problem, Gain understanding of our new retirement plan, or Decide what our target market is. Now, consider all your planning needs in light of the Meeting Objective.
#5: Set an Agenda
Participants need to know what will happen during the meeting and where the discussion will be going. Write up your agenda before the meeting and be prepared to share it as you start.
#19: Introduce the Agenda
Review the agenda and place it where it will be clearly visible. Resist including specific times for each item; doing so can limit flexibility. Remember, it's appropriate to deviate from the agenda as long as you are finding the discussion valuable and it is moving toward your Meeting Objective.
#31: Finish on Time
Honor the time commitment you made to participants. If you consistently end meetings later than planned, people will stop coming to your meetings or they will find excuses to leave early. You might do a 10-minute warning to the full group, reminding them of the imminent finish to the meeting, so anyone who has something urgent to say will have a chance to speak. If you absolutely need to extend the meeting, ask the full group for agreement. If they cannot agree, then schedule another short meeting to complete your agenda. It's not fair to those who cleared their calendars for a set time to be absent when decisions are made or information passed.
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