Have you ever been in a meeting that should have been a good use of everyone’s time, but fell off the rails? Who is to blame? The participants have a role in that, but the leader is the most important role in a meeting. Here are six tips for being an effective meeting leader:

  1. Share the agenda ahead of time – Send out the agenda beforehand, in the meeting invite, so attendees know what to expect. Lack of agenda is the number one complaint we hear from clients these days.
  2. Watch for topic hijackers – Create a parking lot for topics and issues that will derail the purpose of the meeting.
  3. Manage time – End on time or get consensus from the group that it’s OK to go over the expected time.
  4. Take breaks – Resist the temptation to run longer than 90 minutes without a break. Give attendees a break from thinking/listening/being on camera.
  5. Give everyone a voice – Strive to engage everyone. Don’t let the talkative ones take control of the meeting, especially virtually.
  6. Capture decisions and actions – Be sure actions and decisions are captured coming out of the meeting through meeting notes or a Teams channel.

Want more strategies for your meetings? Check out our one-hour Meeting Essentials and two-hour Making Meetings More Productive Using Microsoft Teams courses in our Catalog.