1. Get people talking. Before you plunge in, allot 30 to 60 seconds for attendees to introduce themselves and answer a question, such as “Why are you here?” or “How will you judge whether this meeting’s worthwhile?”
2. Keep moving. Daydreaming sets in when you get bogged down in minutiae. Don’t preach. Skip the details. If you must hash things out, call for breakout sessions with small groups addressing specific issues.
3. Create urgency. By the end of the meeting, decide what will happen next. Explain why. Set deadlines. Assign leaders. If everyone’s held accountable for short-term results or interim steps, they’ll stay focused.