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A Meeting Agenda Guide That Actually Works (Infographic) Running a meeting isn't always easy. However, this guide will make them a piece of cake.

By Rose Leadem

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Tom Werner | Getty Images

Meetings can go two ways: They can end up being hour-long slow-talking processes that rarely cover what they needed to cover, or they can be productive, to-the-point collaborative get-togethers that solve problems and move a business forward. Clearly, everyone should strive for the latter case. How can that be done, you might ask? Start with setting a strong agenda. By having a clear agenda to guide your meeting, you can ensure you cover what needs to be covered, get to the point and waste no one's time. Meetings are major opportunities to move a business forward.

Related: Why Elon Musk Hates Meetings

First on your meeting agenda, list out the topics you'd like to cover, how long to spend on each, who will be leading them, their levels of importance and most importantly, their purposes and desired outcomes. Ask yourself: What do I want to see as the end result of discussing this topic? Also, it's important to note if any preparation needs to be done beforehand and list out the proposed process the leader will take in discussing the topic -- that can simply be done with a couple of bullet points (no need to go overboard).

Related: Science Has Some Suggestions for Making Meetings Productive

Another great tip when drafting your meeting agenda is to lead with questions. When you list out a topic, turn it into a question so the team feels like they have to answer it. For example, instead of writing "Social Media Engagement" as a topic, write "How can we increase our engagement on social media?" Make sure your agenda is brief and quick-to-read so people will actually take the time to look at it and find it valuable. Lastly, by the end of the meeting do a quick survey of the room to discuss how the meeting went and how it could be improved for next time.

Related: 5 Reasons In-Person Meetings Still Matter

If you start implementing these tips, you'll maximize the productivity of your meetings and no one's time will ever go to waste. To learn more, check out The Business Backer's infographic below.

Rose Leadem is a freelance writer for Entrepreneur.com. 

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