Many fearless warriors before you have attempted and failed to lead a successful meeting. A business meeting is fraught with terrors. From the co-worker who thinks they know best to the co-worker who consistently interrupts the flow of the meeting to ask overly detailed and time-intensive questions, you will need an effective plan to weather the unpredictable storm of your next meeting. Luckily, with proper planning, you can keep everyone on track and create a presentation that goes off without a hitch. Remember, you're leading the meeting, which means you must take control and guide the conversation.

Go Beyond the Touchscreen

People respond best when they feel like you have an agenda and a set of items to cover in a meeting. They are less likely to interrupt when there is a well-planned presentation. Creating an interactive presentation that enables you to manipulate materials on the screen is an ideal way to ensure your meeting keeps your audience engaged and entertained. Consider employing a useful gimmick to bring your point home and keep the meeting on track. Perhaps a custom-made stopwatch that counts down the time for the meeting using a custom display made of leather or mylar that you can roll up and take with you when you finish.

Present an Air of Mystery

Some of the worst presentations are the kind that well-meaning leaders rehearse so much that the spontaneity and passion are removed from the presentation. A meeting can be aided by a PowerPoint presentation, but you'll need to be careful to avoid writing out every detail in the presentation if you're going to appear like the authority you are. Use subject-based bullet points to prevent others in the meeting from getting ahead of you. Make them listen to you and wait for you to explain each point, and make the bullets vague enough that they enhance what you're saying while maintaining a certain air of mystery.

Time Your Presentation

Place a timer on your presentation to discourage comments while you're presenting the main points of the meeting. A simple stopwatch speaks volumes to the members of your meeting. They will instinctively understand that questions are to be held to the end, and you'll be able to get through your presentation with minimal interruptions. Printing out everything you plan to say makes you look weak and unknowledgeable about the subject. Remember, the PowerPoint presentation is for your audience to keep up with you, and not to dictate your every spoken word.

Polishing the Presentation

For the elements of your meeting that require a little more detail and clarity, use electronic screen printing, like you can do with Schilling Graphics, to display products in excruciatingly beautiful detail. You'll be able to ensure that your meeting goes off without a hitch, and it's very likely that you'll be chosen to lead all of the future meetings when your colleagues realize how serious you are about the company.

Leading a meeting requires preparation that goes beyond simply preparing a list of points to address. Bring recording devices, allow individuals to jot down their thoughts and maintain an air of authority that helps you control the conversation. By doing so, you'll quickly become known as an authority in your field and a sought-after organizer for future company meetings.

Author's Bio: 

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.