Meetings are a staple of almost every workplace. Although they’re a great way to communicate across a team, when used poorly they can be a waste of time. Whether you are organizing a meeting or attending one, the following are a few pieces of advice to help you get the most out of your meeting. 

Be Prepared

One of the best ways to ensure you have a productive meeting is to arrive prepared. Make sure you take everything you need, such as the agenda, a notepad, and any documents you’ll be reviewing. It may also be helpful to take business cards to share with any new connections. If you’re hosting the meeting, have all the technology up and running so you don’t run into any problems. 

If the organizer sent any documents for you to review before the meeting, make sure you take time to read them thoroughly to ensure you understand them. Don’t just skim the documents. You don’t want to be caught off guard with any questions. 

Respect Everyone’s Time

When attending a meeting, you should arrive on time. While getting there a few minutes early will give you enough time to find a seat, try to not arrive any earlier than that in case of interrupting anyone as they get ready. Try your best not to be late. If you are going to be late, let someone know as soon as possible through a quick email or phone call. If you need to enter the room after the meeting has started, do so quietly. You may need to wait until there is a short break to go in. 

Stay Engaged

When you’re in a meeting, you’re responsible for bringing a good listener and staying focused. Don’t talk to you the person next to you while someone else is speaking. Leave your phone at your desk or in your bag on silent mode. Sending texts or scrolling social media is disrespectful to the person giving a presentation or speaking. 

Take notes of relevant points during the meeting and use them to formulate questions. When asking questions or speaking, maintain eye contact and consider your tone. If the organizer of the meeting asks you to participate, don’t shy away. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts or ask any questions.