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How to Make an Effective Meeting Agenda

meeting agenda in thought

Whether you work for a large corporation or a small startup, meetings help your team work together. To make sure your meeting runs smoothly, consider creating an agenda.

Why do I need a meeting agenda?

Not every meeting needs an agenda. However, if you have a tight schedule and lots of information to review, an agenda can help you stay organized, finish on time and accomplish your goals.

Agendas also let attendees know the discussion topics for your meeting. This gives each person a better idea of their role and allows them time to prepare before you meet.

What should I include on a meeting agenda?

Before creating your agenda, use a dry-erase board to brainstorm the topics you should discuss and who to invite. Once determined, use the following agenda format to make the most of your meeting time:

  1. Topics

    Create a section for each topic that will be discussed. The topic should be specific and typically less than 7 words. This gives you a straightforward starting point.

  2. Presenters

    List the names of presenters for each topic. For informal meetings, use just a first name. If you have a formal meeting, list both the first and last name of the speakers.

  3. Time Allotment

    Assign each presenter a time slot. Be realistic and schedule more time rather than less. List the actual time they will be speaking, such as 9:00 am - 9:15 am, rather than stating ‘15 minutes’.

  4. Objective

    State the desired outcome of each meeting topic. Clearly stating your goals will help keep the discussion on track.

  5. Next Steps

    Reserve time at the end of the meeting for final discussion and questions. Determine what steps the group should take next and when you will meet again on the topics.

By following these steps, you can create an effective and well-run meeting.

Send out the agenda a few days before you meet to give attendees time to review. We hope that your agenda will help you come out of meetings with clear objectives and creative solutions. Happy Planning!