Raise your hand if “meetings” are not the highlight of our day. You’re not alone. But! We can help you lead meetings so they’re a productive, good use of time, and people leave happy. Use these tips make your next meeting a success!

1. Before scheduling the meeting, ask yourself how necessary it is

Do you know why you’re meeting? If you aren’t able to articulate the purpose for meeting in person, reconsider. Can the meeting you’re planning be quickly summarized in an email? If so, send the info online instead. Everyone has things they would rather do than sit in a meeting. Covering the topics in a quick email shows you respect their time and allows them to read at their convenience.

2. Begin with the end in mind

Glazed eyes, drowsy nods, and frequently glancing at the clock – the telltale signs the people in your meeting are mentally checking out. How can you prevent this from being your meeting experience? Start your meeting by sharing what will be accomplished by the end. Have your group members write down the end goal of the meeting, and encourage them to actively participate to meet that goal.

3. Give everyone time to think

It’s important to be quick and concise during meetings, but it’s also important to have your group members actively engaging in what is being decided. On way to do this is through asking questions and giving group members time to think. Although it may seem agonizing at first, wait 10 seconds after asking a question. This gives group members a few seconds to think of their answer, and another few seconds to build up the courage to speak. This small trick will improve your participation in meetings.

Whether it’s your next student organization meeting or a group project, try these tips at the next meeting you lead. If you’re not the leader of the meeting, pay close attention to what the leader does. What are they doing to make the meeting effective? What could they be doing better? Use it as a learning experience along with the tips above to help you become a better leader in the future.