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Meetings are essential in office environments. Not only are they gatherings where personnel can communicate with one another about workplace issues or corporate goals, it’s a place where everyone can motivate one another. Unfortunately, all too many meetings means lost time at the desk where employees could be working. This is why it’s important that you make each and every moment in the meeting hall count by following a specific set of rules as you’re mapping out what type of discussion you’re planning on leading. Here are four tips on doing meetings the right way so that employees in your office don’t start to roll their eyes when a meeting is called.

Workplace Roundtable: How To Do Your Work Meetings The Right Way

Set a Clear and Strict Agenda

It’s very easy to lose focus when you have the entire office gathered together in a single room. Since meetings can be time suckers, you need to have a stated purpose and a clear plan on what you will discuss. Handing out an agenda on each topic you’ll touch on will help keep everyone on track. Just be sure to stick to the agenda or it’s possible that the business meeting could turn into a social gathering. Some larger companies like Google will go as far as limiting meetings to ten people at max.

Create a Summary and a Presentation That’s Easy to Follow

Another way to ensure that ideas and information continue to flow is to create a PowerPoint presentation. At the beginning of this presentation, you can create a brief one-slide summary on the major points that you will discuss. You can then go slide by slide to show reports, financial statements, ROI measures, and whatever else you’ve planned to discuss. To make this step even quicker, consider using a PowerPoint slide formatting tool from pptXTREME or similar companies that will help you make professional slides in a fraction of the time.

Don’t Just Speak, Ask Questions

It’s very easy for a person who’s leading a business meeting to lose their audience. The best way to prevent this from happening is to keep employees engaged. You might stray from taking questions as you present a topic, but doing this will work against you. It’s best to ask your colleagues questions as you’re presenting information so that they feel heard. It’s best to have some questions already prepared so that you’re not tongue-tied in the moment.

Allot Time at the End for Open Discussions

You shouldn’t come to your conclusion slide and excuse everyone as soon as the last bullet point is covered. Instead, leave time for employees to ask questions and get further clarification. If the audience doesn’t understand the goals or concerns that you presented, the meeting would be a waste of time.

Don’t let your meetings take the workplace hostage. Instead, hold meetings only when there are real topics to discuss and be sure they stay on track. With the proper planning and preparation, you can take charge while still engaging professionals in the office.