How to make a meeting agenda (with template and examples!)

meeting agenda

We’ve all been in unproductive meetings. For example, you sit down for a meeting, and the person running it says, “Let’s go around the room and introduce ourselves.” Or, “What did everyone think of the article I sent out last week?”

You think to yourself, “I didn’t read it.”

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably participated in a few too many meetings that felt like a waste of time. You might have even left a few of them thinking, “Why did they even bother having that meeting?”

It turns out, there might be a reason for your frustration. According to research, two thirds of meetings do not have agendas. There is a strong correlation between having an agenda and the quality of the outcome of the meeting.

In addition to being able to create an effective agenda, fostering discussions about the issues on the agenda is also important.

This meeting and communication course also provides valuable insights for leaders who want to improve the quality of their meetings. This will help ensure that meetings are more productive and effective.

Key Takeaways

  • Research reveals that two thirds of meetings are held without a meeting agenda, thus wasting valuable time spent in meetings.
  • Meeting agendas assist in focusing attendees attention on the topic at hand and therefore channeling the discussion to a productive conclusion.
  • A meeting agenda should be circulated several days leading up to the meeting. Because it helps participants prepare in advance.
  • The difference between an effective meeting and a failed meeting is the thought put into creating the agenda and the ability to foster discussion around the items on the agenda for productive outcomes.
  • Clarifying a meeting’s purpose and responsibilities of participants and outlining issues to be discussed are essential elements needed in creating an effective agenda.

What is a Meeting Agenda?

It is a document that spells out the sequence of events that will take place during the meeting and allows the participants to prepare in advance.

In addition, the agenda forms the basis of any productive meeting. It assists in focusing the attendees’ attention on the issues contained within it. Therefore, channelling the discussion to a productive end.

Again, having an agenda for any meeting makes the big difference between holding effective meetings with tangible results and having a boring and dry meeting or a meeting that yields no positive result.

What is the Purpose of a Meeting Agenda?

To Pre Inform Attendees

When people attend meetings without having a clue why they are there, it often ends in disaster. In fact, the discussion is bound to veer off course. At the end of the day, no meaningful achievement will be realised.  This is why a meeting agenda is very necessary. It helps attendees to be clear on what is expected during the meeting and after it.

It helps attendees prepare ahead of time for meetings

To get valuable contributions from meeting attendees, it is better for them to know beforehand the issues that will be discussed. In addition, it will help them better prepare their ideas and opinions for contributions.

It reduces time wastage

You want your organization or the planning committee to come off as an entity that has value for other people’s time. An agenda ensures you do not start discussing irrelevant issues, as keeping meeting moderators and organisers focused averts unnecessary discussions.

Prioritising

Itemising topics in an agenda reveals the degree of importance of each of them.

Documentation 

An agenda facilitates the documentation of meeting minutes as resolutions are reached. Therefore, it makes it easy to have access to and move forward with decisions already made.

Defining Responsibilities 

Through an agenda, everyone is clear on who does what and why. It saves everyone from the heartache of confusion that arises when no one is aware of what their responsibility is.

When is a Meeting Agenda Needed?

A meeting agenda is needed several days, or 2448 hours before a meeting is held. This creates room for the agenda to be sent or circulated well ahead of the date on which the meeting will take place. Thus, helping partners or attendees prepare well ahead of the meeting.

How to Make a Meeting Agenda

There are different types of meetings. As such, it will necessitate different types of agendas. However, there are some common items that are contained in every agenda.

They include the following:

Date

Time

Location

Type of Meeting

Welcome & introductions

Facilitator

Agenda Topics

Agenda overview

Discussion/(Q&A)

Key Steps to Creating the Agenda

Clarify Objectives 

In meetings without clearly defined objectives, attendees will often question why they are there.You may already know what the meeting seeks to achieve. But you also have to make it clear to participants to prevent them from being exasperated.

Clarify Responsibilities 

Assigning team members or meeting participants to tasks allows them to be adequately prepared for whatever role it is they are assigned to.

Outline the Topics for Discussion

It is important to list out topics that will be deliberated on in the course of the meeting. This helps everyone be on the same page when the meeting is held. Nobody will be left wondering what the meeting is about and how they fit into the agenda.

Allocate Time for Each Item on the Agenda

Determine how much time each item on the agenda will require. Setting a time limit will encourage participants to be mindful of their contributions, ensuring that they do not carry on indefinitely.

Meeting Agenda Examples

A. Sales Meeting Agenda

Sales Team Meeting
Date: June 7, 2022
Time: 8AM
Venue: Conference Room A3

Agenda:
■Ice breaker-5 Mins (Ben)
■Introductions and updates-10mins (Ashley)
■Quarterly sales review-10Mins (John)
■Roadblocks-10Mins (Simi)
■New Leads-13 Mins (Ashley)
■Review action items from meeting-10Mins(Tom)

B. Simple Board Meeting Agenda

Annual Board Meeting

Friday, 25 May 2022

Attendees:

Agenda:

▪︎Last Meeting Follow-up

▪︎New Business

Notes

Action Items

Next Meeting Agenda Items

Finally, meetings are essential in helping organisations achieve their goals and objectives. As such, the importance of creating effective meeting agendas that will lead to productive outcomes cannot be overlooked. Check here to learn how to run effective meetings

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