1. Give notice in advance
In an ideal scenario, inform all participants of the meeting at least three days in advance. Ask the participants whether the date or the time you have in mind is convenient for them.
2. Create an agenda for the meeting
The agenda will detail the important points to be discussed at the meeting. The agenda keeps the meeting focused on the matters at hand. At the end of the meeting ensure that the agenda has been met.
3. Distribute the agenda in advance.
By distributing the agenda at least a day before the meeting, you ensure that the participants come prepared for the meeting.
3. Document the goals.
Document the goals that you wish to achieve from the meeting and circulate this among the participants.
4. Lay down strict ground rules for the meeting
The rules should provide for matters such as:
A. The speaker should not be interrupted during his speech. Any questions/queries to be raised once the speaker has finished putting forth his point.
B. Phones being put on silent mode etc.
5. Appoint a coordinator from amongst the participants
The coordinator will coordinate the entire communication process and ensure that every one has had an equal opportunity to put forward his views.
6. Stay on the topic
Make sure that the discussion is relevant to the matters on hand. If you find that people are diverting from the topic, politely bring the matter up.
7. Be Relevant
Make sure that the right questions are being asked. It always helps when you have noted down a list of the relevant questions to ask. This helps to ensure that you do not miss out on the essentials.
8. Focus on solutions
By focusing on solutions to the problems on hand, you make sure that you achieve the objectives of the meeting [see point 3].
9. Encourage active participation
Encourage active participation by creating an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable expressing their views and ideas.
10. Appoint someone to take down the minutes
Appoint someone to take down the minutes of the meeting, so that the important points that emerged during the meeting will be available for reference in the future. The minutes will serve as documentary evidence of the proceedings and should preferably be signed by the chairman of the meeting.