5 ways to improve all those awful meetings at the office:
Eric Barker stashed this in Meetings
I've always been a believer in the standing part. Makes a big difference.
I'd also add that in general, you should limit attendees as much as possible. Smaller meetings, the better.
Conversely, if you need more people, rearrange the seating to me more "theater-style" so that everyone faces the speaker or facilitator.
Lastly, one awesome trick I heard about was a company that required employees to swipe their badge before entering a meeting room. This info was hooked up to a monitor that cross referenced salary data which displayed a increasing total "cost" of the meeting over time. Apparently, this had the overall effect of heightening the awareness of how much of a time sink meetings can actually be.
Meetings are not bad. The important part is to not confuse "having a meeting" with "making forward progress".