How to Create an Effective Meeting Agenda
We’ve all attended unproductive meetings that consume time and money. It doesn’t matter if it’s the i loved this wrong people in the room or irrelevant discussions or even a lack of discussion, time spent in meetings isn’t cheap. A meeting agenda that is effective will help you meet the goal of the meeting and make it easier to achieve company goals.
A concise and clear agenda allows everyone to understand the agenda for the meeting and assists participants to prepare for it. The best way to design an effective agenda for your meeting is to include the following essential components:
List all the expected outcomes and the reason for your meeting. This will help keep your focus on the most important issues and help you avoid unnecessary side-bars.
Define what will be discussed for each item. This will include a short description of the topic as well as who will be responsible for discussing the topic. It should also state the time allotted to the discussion. It is also beneficial to include the location and time zone of the meeting, especially for remote teams.
Take note of every item on the agenda as a question to be answered by an entire group. (Example: “What steps should we take to lease equipment ?”). Each discussion topic can be presented as a question to encourage discussion and better know what is expected of the meeting.
Include an explanation of the procedure you’re planning to follow for each item on the agenda. This is among the most under-appreciated elements of a meeting and can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your meetings. Without a clear process, each participant will make their own decision on what to discuss, which may lead to off-topic conversations or even a meeting that goes off the rails. By having a procedure, it will allow participants to modify their remarks to fit the time frame or suggest that more time be allowed for a specific topic.