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How to host effective business meetings

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People dread business meetings where nothing gets accomplished.

To help you make every meeting worthwhile, Entrepreneur’s Stan Popovich offers tips to ensure meetings aren’t just useless time sinks.

•  Have goals. Know what you need to accomplish in a meeting and write it down. Share your goals with other attendees and don’t end the meeting until those goals are met.

•  Write a summary or agenda beforehand. Use this to plan your communication methods for various points you want to make and share the document with attendees. This will align everyone’s expectations with what’s going to happen and reduce fears or rumors beforehand.

•  Stay on task. If someone goes off on a tangent, politely steer the discussion back to your agenda.

•  Encourage everyone to participate. Don’t just let a few people take the meeting hostage. Create an environment where everyone feels empowered to contribute.

•  Hang back afterwards. Don’t just give your presentation and bolt. Chances are, someone will have a follow-up question and you’ll want to know that everyone fully understands what’s going on.

•  Change it up. Ask for ways to change up meetings from time to time so participants don’t get bored. Consider meeting in a new venue or varying the format.

— Adapted from “10 Tips On Getting the Most Out of Business Meetings,” Stan Popovich, Entrepreneur.

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