There are several things you can do to make meetings more effective. The first, of course, is to have an agenda. One of the best ways to organize your agenda is to discuss the agenda items in advance with the other people who will be at the meeting.
The rule should be “no surprises!” Give the attendees as much advance knowledge and information on the subject of the meeting as you possibly can. Allow them an opportunity to prepare and organize their thoughts. When they come into the meeting, they should have a good idea of what is going to be discussed and what the goals of the meeting might be.
Start the meeting with a clear statement of purpose. Say something like, “This meeting ...