A new chairman was recently appointed to a Board. Knowing his background, it's clear he's chaired and/or attended hundreds if not thousands of meetings in his life. He's also too busy to have meetings that waste time. His 3 opening comments:
1. We will always start on time. Courtesy to Board members who are prompt.
2. We will stay on task. Don't search out extraneous discussions.
3. You will be asked to confirm you had what you needed for this meeting.
The outcome: We started on time, we stayed on task, he confirmed we all had what we needed. The group had increased productivity, in a shorter period of time.
If you are chairing a group, setting expectations with a group can have very positive results.