How to Create an Effective Meeting Agenda

How to Create an Effective Meeting Agenda

A well-crafted meeting agenda is essential for any type of gathering, from a discussion with a coworker to a large group to discuss the goals of the organization and discuss issues. A well-crafted agenda will keep everyone focused and engaged and increase the productivity of all participants and the entire group.

Determine the purpose of each item on the agenda. By defining what the purpose of each item, attendees know what to expect from the meeting and adapt their participation accordingly. Having clear meeting objectives also helps ensure that the meeting doesn’t get off-track, so it is more likely to be successful.

For each objective, clearly state the way in which the desired outcome will be attained. You can specify what the objective is: gather information or make a choice, or share information. It may also specify the procedure to follow in order to accomplish the purpose which could include establishing the consensus of the group or voting.

Include an estimated time for each agenda item. The inclusion of an estimated time allows participants to prepare for the discussion and adjust their participation accordingly. Leaders can also determine if more time is required or if they can accomplish the goal in less time.

Include “parking lot” items on the agenda. A parking lot is a place to record important ideas, conversations, or topics that are related to the subject at hand but are not required to be discussed during the meeting. This is especially beneficial for virtual meetings, since it can prevent meetings from being diverted by unrelated conversations.