Write a More Effective Meeting Agenda

The key to a great meeting starts with proper preparation and ends with thoughtful follow up. While it sounds like an easy task, why do we still have meetings that run long, go off-topic, and feel unorganized?

Most of these problems can be pinned to poor agendas (or worse, no agenda at all!). Here’s our guide to creating a better agenda for more effective meetings:

Why send a meeting agenda?

  • They let people know what to expect before the meeting gets started. This eliminates time wasting discussions that try to figure out what the meeting is really about.
  • They give others time to read materials and prepare for the meeting. This pre-meeting period creates a more engaged/educated group from the very start.
  • They keep meetings on topic. If someone brings up a subject that does not fit with the meeting objective, simply ‘cut it out’.

What’s included in the meeting agenda?

  • In your calendar invite, define a purpose for the meeting that addresses what you’re trying to accomplish.
    • The purpose should coincide with your team’s objectives, if not… why meet?
  • Come up with 3-5 important topics that can be efficiently covered in the allocated time.
    • This will help guide meeting discussion without trying to squeeze too much in or meet longer than necessary.
  • Let content dictate how much time to schedule, not vice versa.
    • Set time limits on each topic to stay on track.
      • Ex: “Social Media Strategy…….. 15 minutes”
  • Assign a note-taker to send out important notes, action items and key decisions. This helps keep everyone in the loop and documents upcoming tasks for more accountability.
  • Send the calendar invite 3 days to a week in advance to ensure people get ample time to review the agenda and prepare for the meeting.

 What other agenda tips work for your team?

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