1. Have a clear agenda. Know what you want to cover, write down want you want to discuss, and hand it out in advance.
2. Keep the guest list short. Make sure the only attendees are those who need to be present.
3. Establish objectives. This differs from an agenda, which specifies what will be discussed; objectives cover what the discussion is going to accomplish.
4. Have attendees prepare in advance, if necessary. Neat handouts are better than whiteboard scribbles.
5. Keep it short. 'Nuff said.
6. Record key points and decisions. This allows for review later on.
7. Create (and assign) action items. Make attendees accountable for the decisions made in the meeting.
8. Report progress and follow-up. This can help eliminate subsequent "update" meetings.
Have any other ideas for improving the meeting process? Share them in the comments section!