Here are a few notes on how to run a meeting successfully. Some of these can be pretty uncomfortable to some, but I promise there's a way to do these tactfully without offending. It will again depend on where you are; my bias is being at big companies and working with executives in meetings with lots of people. At a startup, some of these become less important, but still are good skills to have.

Own the space

This feels a little alpha and aggressive, but I promise it is possible to be chill and still maintain control of a meeting.

Generally, you want to control the flow of the meeting. People should regard you as being the meeting runner, and you should lean into that. A good rule of thumb is to not pass off the presentation to someone else when it can be avoided. Ask them to chime in, but you should be the one presenting. Sometimes, this can't be avoided, but where possible, I try to stay as the one running things. Otherwise, you become a glorified mediator, which takes you out of control. Where I can, I have someone else instruct me on what to say, and then I follow through presenting, and the other person can fill in details where I missed them. In these cases, be sure to credit the person helping you! We aren't doing this to steal credit but to keep the meeting train going.

Good tangents and bad tangents

All meetings have tangents. Frequently, the tangents can be the most impactful part of the meeting, and you should really lean into them. Other times, they are massive distractions, and someone is just indulging themselves while 30 other people listen to a tangential rant. I will leave you to decide what a good tangent is (is it going somewhere you want to go) or a bad tangent, but I'll share some words on how to handle tangents.

If you prepared timeboxes, this is a very simple play to just interrupt the tangent and say, "Hey folks, we only have X minutes on this topic. Let's make sure we get done what we planned to." This is your primary tool for keeping folks on task and aligned. If you don't have anything like that, still lean into interrupting the person or people going on the tangent and asking, "Hey, we have things left in the agenda. Can you all start an email thread about this?". The key here is to wrangle it quickly and make sure you get back onto your agenda. Be sure to have the topic you want to get back to in mind, or you look a bit silly.

Don't be afraid to interrupt anyone. Occasionally, they may push back and say, "This is important. Let's discuss now," but more often than not, they'll respect the agenda.

Inoculation theory

Sometimes, I'll go into a meeting knowing someone is going to bring up something that I don't want to dwell on or something negative about my goal of the meeting. Enter inoculation theory. The idea is that if you know this thing is going to come up, address it first before the person can bring it up. If they're going to say, "Hey, we don't have time to work on that project," you can pre-empt them by saying, "Hey, I know it may seem like we don't have time to work on this, but we moved around some other projects to other places so we can have enough time."

It's a well-documented persuasion tool that makes your argument more compelling by pre-empting concerns. You are taking the wind out of their sails, so to speak.