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What should be included in a meeting agenda—A guide.

May 10, 2023

Have you ever sat through a meeting that seemed to drag on forever without achieving much? We’ve all been there and it’s not a pleasant experience. But fear not! There’s a simple solution to make your meetings more efficient and productive: a well-crafted meeting agenda.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about meeting agendas—what they are, why they matter and how to create one that works. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or new to the workforce, we’ve got you covered.

How can a meeting agenda make a difference?

Think of your meeting agenda as a roadmap for your meeting; it sets clear expectations, helps keep everyone on track and ensures that you make the most of your time together.

A good meeting agenda can be the difference between meetings that feel pointless to you and others attending versus a meeting that leaves your team feeling inspired.

Now that we’ve discussed the value of a meeting agenda, let’s explore how to create one that truly works. From setting clear objectives to allocating time for each item, we’ll cover all the key elements to consider. Plus, access to our meeting agenda template.

So, if you’re ready to make your meetings more effective and less painful, read on!

What is a meeting agenda and how can it help my meetings?

At its core, a meeting agenda is a roadmap for the meeting. A well-crafted meeting ensures that your deadlines are met on time and your goals are achieved. Without one, you may notice your meetings spinning in circles with no clear purpose.

Here are a few ways a meeting agenda can benefit your team:

  1. Clarifying objectives: By setting your meeting’s objectives up front, the agenda helps everyone understand what the meeting is meant to accomplish. This can help focus the discussion and ensure everyone works towards the same goals.
  2. Establishing priorities: By listing the agenda items in order of importance, the agenda helps set priorities and ensure that the most pressing issues are addressed first.
  3. Providing structure: By specifying the amount of time spent on each item, your agenda helps create a clear structure for the meeting. This can help prevent tangents and ensure that your meeting stays on schedule.
  4. Encouraging preparation: By sharing the agenda with participants in advance, you ensure everyone comes prepared and ready to contribute, making your meeting more efficient and productive.
  5. Building engagement: The agenda can help build engagement and participant buy-in by providing opportunities for questions and discussion. This can help ensure everyone feels heard and invested in any decisions or actions taken during the meeting.

In short, a meeting agenda is a powerful tool for keeping meetings a valuable use of everyone’s time. So next time you’re planning a meeting, pay special attention to your agenda!

 

Key elements of a meeting agenda

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of meeting agendas, let’s look at the key elements that make up a successful agenda. Here are some of the essential elements to include:

  1. Meeting title and purpose: The title and purpose of your meeting should be clear and concise, communicating the overall focus of that specific meeting.
  2. Date, time and location: Include the meeting date, time and location so that participants know when and where to show up.
  3. Attendee list: Include a list of all attendees, as well as any guests or presenters who will be participating in the meeting.
  4. Talking topics: List the main points in the order in which they will be discussed. Be sure to allocate a specific amount of time for each item.
  5. Action items: Make note of any action items that need to be taken following the meeting, and assign responsibilities as needed.
  6. Adjournment: Include a clear statement indicating when the meeting will be adjourned.

Creating a good meeting agenda is a dance between discussions, questions, decisions and brainstorming. All of these are crucial for a great team dynamic and creating a space to fill these will help set your team up for success for current and future projects.

 

Best practices for creating a meeting agenda

Now, let’s dive into some best practices for creating an effective agenda:

  1. Set clear objectives for your meeting: Before you even start thinking about what to include on the agenda, make sure you’re clear on the overall purpose of your meeting. What do you want to accomplish and what are your desired outcomes? Clear objectives will help you determine the most critical agenda items and ensure your meeting stays focused on achieving those outcomes.
  2. Prioritize agenda items: Once you have a list of agenda items, prioritize them in order of importance. This will help you allocate time more effectively and ensure that the most critical issues are discussed first. Keep in mind that not all issues may be able to be addressed in one meeting, so make sure to focus on your most critical points.
  3. Allocate time for each issue: It’s essential to allocate a specific amount of time for each talking topic to help keep your meeting on track. Be realistic about the time needed for each item and be prepared to adjust the agenda if the discussion runs longer than expected.
  4. Share the agenda with participants in advance: This helps ensure that everyone clearly understands what will be discussed and will make it easier for participants to prepare.
  5. Allow time for questions and discussion: While it’s important to stick to the agenda, it’s also important to allow time for questions and discussion. Leave space for everyone’s voice to be heard and for all perspectives to be considered.

By following these best practices, you can create an effective meeting agenda that helps to ensure that your meetings are focused on achieving your desired outcomes. Remember, the agenda sets the tone for your meeting, so make sure to put in the effort to create a clear and effective one.

 

The Bloom meeting agenda template

Get our premium meeting agenda template for free. This template is a quick and easy tool to keep your meetings organized, productive and on track. It includes all the essential elements of an effective agenda and some best practices to help you maximize your meeting time. 

By creating a compelling meeting agenda, you can ensure that your meetings are well-organized, productive and achieve your desired outcomes. Setting clear objectives, prioritizing agenda items, allocating time for each item, sharing the agenda in advance and allowing time for questions and discussion are all crucial elements of an effective meeting agenda.

Remember, the key to a successful meeting is preparation. By taking the time to create an effective meeting agenda, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page, stay focused on the goals of your meeting and ultimately achieve better results.

So, next time you plan a meeting, remember the importance of a well-crafted agenda!

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