Creating an effective agenda is one of the most important elements for a productive
meeting. Here are some reasons why the meeting agenda is so important.
How to Create an Effective Agenda
You're responsible for planning your project meeting this month. Arrggh!!
What to do? Now you understand how important an agenda is to the effectiveness
of the meeting, but don't know how to create one. Breathe easy! All you have
to do is follow the steps outlined below.
1. Send an e-mail
stating there will be a meeting, the goal of the meeting as well as the administrative
details such as when and where it will be. Ask those invited to accept or decline
the meeting. Make it clear that once they have accepted the meeting, they are
expected to attend.
Ask participants requesting an agenda item to contact you no less than
two days before the meeting with their request and the amount of time they will
need to present it.
Once all of the agenda requests have been submitted to you, summarize
them in a table format with the headings Agenda Item, Presenter and Time. It's
your responsibility to ensure that each agenda item is directly related to the
goals of this particular meeting. If an inappropriate request is made, suggest
that person send an e-mail or memo instead or recommend that this agenda item
be discussed in another meeting. Also, you must be realistic in the amount of
time you allocate to each presenter. Don't cram an unrealistic number of agenda
items into an hour meeting. When people accept an hour meeting, they expect
to be finished in an hour. When meetings go over time, people generally tend
to get uneasy. It's better to schedule 50 minutes of discussion into an hour
time slot. This way you have 10 minutes to spare and if you get done a little
early, people will be pleased.
Send the agenda to all the meeting participants the day before the meeting
with a reminder of the meeting goals, location, time and duration. At this time,
ask the presenters if they are happy with the order in which they will be speaking
and the amount of time they have been allocated.
5. Of course,
the most important part of creating an effective agenda is
to follow it during the meeting!
How to Prepare an Agenda
How to Eliminate Agenda Items That Donít Apply to the Entire Group