Meetings can be boring and they can be the most unproductive time of the day for some people. In the end, they turn into a circus. Participants do not focus on the meeting, they're thinking about other things, they go off topic and maybe they just sit there and do not respond at all.
1. Set a clear agenda ahead of time. It is helpful for all if people come to the meeting prepared.
2. Assign a meeting leader. Choose someone who is trusted and respected by the team and make him or her the meeting leader. He will set up the meeting and keep the meeting on track.
3. Go device-free. There are plenty of things that can steal your participants' attention. Try going device-free for the duration of the meeting.
4. Keep meeting participants between 4 to 7 people. It requires tact but it is essential that you invite those who can contribute to the meeting's agenda, regardless of past attendance or expectations.
5. Adopt the Swiss trains approach. Swiss trains leave at odd times. For example, the train departs at 8:23 AM and arrives at 9:18 AM. Being specific makes your participants curious.
6. Save updates for e-mails. If updates can be done by e-mail, then do so. It minimizes resources and waste of time.
7. Take it outside. Sometimes taking meetings outside can be a relaxing way and it creates a comfortable place to talk.
8. Keep meetings as short as possible. Meetings should last no longer than an hour. Studies show that people stop asking questions and are focused on getting things done.
9. Lastly, use the last 10 minutes of the time to recap.