1) Prepare an agenda.
Just like every captain of an airplane plans their route in advance of the trip, their riders expect the destination to be understood. Nothing worst that boarding a plane to New York and ending up in Orlando, unless of course you want to visit Mickey! An agenda is important as it helps to do two important things. It assures team and meeting focus; and it sends a clear road map of the meetings progress and direction. Preparing the agenda and disseminating it to your team prior to the meeting helps the team understand the focus and purpose of the meeting. It ensures discussion flow in a timely fashion. And it helps Chatterbox Charlie (we all have one in the office) keep on topic. While we all want to know what we did with the family the other day, that might be better left for Facebook. Additionally, other speakers who have items they wish to reference, should timely submit those items to the person preparing the agenda in advance, so they can be properly added, as well as their resource materials timely given to the participants. Remember, you cannot hand out things to people in a room – since everyone is attached by the proverbial phone cord.