How to Create an Effective Meeting Agenda

We’ve all attended unproductive meetings that are a waste of time and money. Meetings aren’t free regardless of the wrong people or insignificant discussions. A meeting agenda that’s efficient will allow you to achieve the goal of the meeting and get closer to your company’s goals.

A concise and clear agenda lets everyone know the agenda for the meeting and assists participants to prepare for it. Include the following elements in your meeting agenda to make it effective.

The purpose of the meeting and write down all expected outcomes of the discussion. This will keep you focused on the most important issues and avoid unnecessary side-bars.

Then, for each item on the agenda, you must define what will be discussed. This will include a brief description of the topic and who is responsible for covering the subject. It will also define the time allotted to the discussion. It’s also helpful to include the location of the meeting and its time zone, especially for remote teams.

If you’re group collaboration, you might consider the agenda items as an open-ended question that will be answered by the group (i.e., “What steps should we take to lease equipment ?”). Announcing each discussion point as a question will stimulate discussions and help improve understanding of what’s expected during the meeting.

Set out a method to her explanation determine how you’d like each agenda item to be discussed. This is a meeting element that is often left unnoticed, but can be a major factor in the effectiveness of the meeting. Without a clearly defined process participants will take their own decision about how to approach the topic which could lead to off topic conversations or even an entire meeting derailment. By adding a process that allows participants to modify their remarks to can be within the time frame allotted or suggest additional time for a particular topic.

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