Let’s be honest.
We’ve all been a part of meetings where most participants are clueless about the purpose of the meeting, and the speakers steer the discussion off-track.
What follows is a true catastrophe.
You’d find your team clocking in many unproductive hours because of the ‘said meeting’ without achieving any objective.
A meeting agenda can help you avoid this and be the answer to all your woes. ✌
An effective meeting agenda is a plan you share with your meeting participants. It’ll help your team set clear expectations of what needs to happen before, during, and after the meeting.
In this article, we’ll discuss what a meeting agenda is and learn the five key steps involved in writing one. We’ll also look at three meeting agenda template options and explore three reasons why your team needs a meeting agenda.
- What Is a Meeting Agenda?
- 5 Key Steps to Writing an Effective Meeting Agenda
- A Sample Agenda for Your Meeting
- 3 Simple Meeting Agenda Template Options
- 3 Reasons Why Your Team Needs a Meeting Agenda
- 3 Simple Ways to Make Your Meetings More Productive
- Cross-off Stress from Your Work Life with Meeting Agendas
Let’s get started.
What Is a Meeting Agenda?
Sitting through a meeting that doesn’t have an agenda is pretty similar to setting out on a treasure hunt without a map.
Can we all agree on how unproductive that would be? 😐
A meeting agenda allows your team to prepare for the meeting topic, ensure that everyone is on the same page, and keep them on track to hit their objectives.
It consists of a list of topics, action items, and activities you want to discuss during the meeting.
A simple meeting agenda could be a short bulleted list. More detailed agendas include descriptions for each agenda item, reference material, and expected outcomes for each discussion topic.
Formal agendas also include timing and presenter information for each agenda item.
An example of a formal agenda can be a city council agenda used in a state’s city council meeting. These agendas can have an open forum section that makes time for public comment.
But formal meeting agendas aren’t restricted to the government.
You can use them in your company’s meetings too. You just have to choose the agenda that suits your team the best.
Now that you know what a meeting agenda is, let’s look at how you can write one. ✍
5 Key Steps to Writing an Effective Meeting Agenda
Here are the five easy steps you can follow to create the right meeting agenda for your team:
1. Establish the meeting type
Not informing your team about the type of meeting they’d be attending can cause a lot of confusion.
Imagine a team member attending a regular meeting only to find out that it’s their performance review.
The horror! 😱
To avoid catching people off-guard, make sure you all know what the meeting is about.
Meetings can be of several different types, including:
- Team meeting: also referred to as a staff meeting, these are opportunities for your team to discuss various business aspects
- Board meeting: a formal meeting among your organization’s board of directors. They’re generally held at regular intervals to review team performances and policy issues
- Executive session: held by board members regularly before their routine board meetings
- Recurring meeting: daily, weekly, or monthly meetings that repeat regularly
- Project kickoff meeting: conducted at the beginning of every new project to inform the team about project objectives, deliverables, and timelines
- Brainstorming meeting: used to flesh out a new idea with your teams in a conducive brainstorming session
- Feedback meeting: hosted to gather constructive feedback from your team regarding new projects and processes
- Agile meeting: a special meeting used to hold hyper-focused discussions for agile teams to conduct sprint reviews, share valuable project information, customer feedback, project updates, etc.
- Scrum meeting: uses a scrum meeting agenda that may include sprint planning, daily standups, product backlog refinement, sprint reviews, etc.
- Retrospective meeting: held after project completion to discuss what went well and what didn’t
- Onboarding meeting: help new hires understand professional expectations in their work environment
- Committee meetings: help a subgroup of team members from your company form a committee to achieve any special function.
2. State the objective of the meeting
What are the top reasons you’re having a meeting with your team?
Do you want to update them about a project? Do you want their insights on something?
Or maybe you just want to unwind and discuss last night’s game over a chilled glass of beer. 🍻
Clearly stating the meeting objective gives your team a heads-up on what’s coming their way. At the very least, they’ll know whether to bring a project report or a beer to the meeting. 😜
3. Identify specific meeting topics
Once you have a clear meeting goal, make a list of discussion topics you want your team to cover.
We’re going to let you in on our secret to make your meetings more engaging. 🤫
Make sure to pick discussion topics that affect everyone in the meeting.
This way, you’ll have all your team members willing to participate in the discourse.
4. Allocate time to discuss each topic
Your favorite sea sponge has something to say.
Meetings are expensive and can be difficult to organize. They’re only productive when they can utilize time effectively.
That’s why it’s important to allocate a certain amount of time to discuss each meeting topic. And you won’t end up straying and spending all your available time on a single topic.
Using a consent agenda is another time-saving trick for your meetings. A consent agenda groups recurring discussion topics into a single agenda item that you can easily cross-off.
These measures will make sure your meetings don’t become a time-suck and a calendar clogger. 👀
5. Include a list of necessary documents
Let’s say you hold a meeting with your project stakeholders.
One way to make the meeting more productive is to share all project documents through your team meeting agendas ahead of the meeting.
Think of this as one of the pre-reading activities your teacher would ask you to do back in school. 🤓 This practice sets the right context for every participant in the meeting and empowers them to contribute to the discourse.
Now that you know what to do, let’s look at some meeting agenda examples to help you see what these steps look like in action.
A Sample Agenda for Your Meeting
Here’s a simple meeting agenda example for your reference:
Design Team Meeting
Time: 09:00 am – 09:45 am
Meeting Participants: @SpongeBob, @Patrick, @Mr.Krabs, @Squidward
- Develop a new website page for product testimonials
a. Before the meeting:
- Every attendee must review the document on product testimonials
b. Discussion topics:
- Review product testimonials document (10 min)
- Discuss the content you want to include on the web page (10 min, @Name)
- Present sample designs for the web page (15 min, @Name)
- Share suggestions and vote on the website design (10 min)
c. Action items:
- Create a timeline for design deliverables – @SpongeBob
- Share first cut of the web page design – @Patrick
- Schedule a second meeting to finalize design – @Mr.Krabs
This sample should give you an idea of how you want to design your meeting agenda. To help you further, let’s look at some meeting agenda templates.
3 Simple Meeting Agenda Template Options
Here are three meeting agenda templates that you can use to create your next agenda:
1. Team meeting agenda template
Download this staff meeting agenda template.
2. Board meeting agenda template
Download this board meeting agenda template.
3. Project kickoff meeting agenda template
Download this project kickoff meeting agenda template.
If you’re still unsure about using a meeting agenda, the next section on its advantages should do the trick. 😉
3 Reasons Why Your Team Needs a Meeting Agenda
Here’s a look at how meeting agendas can make your team more productive.
1. Gives the meeting a clear purpose
What are your chances of achieving an outcome if you don’t even know what you want to achieve?
Thanks to our good old meeting agenda, you don’t have to worry about facing this dilemma during a meeting. 🤝
A meeting agenda sets clear objectives that drive productivity. And because your team is aware of the objectives they’re required to achieve, they’ll prepare to hit their goals during the meeting.
2. Helps you stay on track
You’re in an online meeting with your team to discuss your advertising budget, and one of your coworkers talks about an interesting ad they saw recently.
Soon everybody pitches in with their insights, and before you know it, 20 minutes have passed.
We’re pretty sure you’d leave the meeting feeling like this.👇
However, with a meeting agenda in hand, you could avoid this disaster in any future meetings. Agendas include meeting topics along with a specific time limit allocated for each to help you avoid distractions and get things done.
3. Defines responsibilities
We can all agree that one of the biggest challenges of collaborating on a project with a team is holding each participant accountable for their part.
You’re kidding yourself if you think you can keep track of this manually. 👀
But defining responsibilities isn’t a challenge with meeting agendas in place. You can assign each agenda topic to a different team member and ensure they prepare for their part.
After concluding the meeting, you can assign them actionable tasks and make sure they’re aware of their workload.
At this point, we’ve covered all important aspects of meeting agendas.
Remember: the ultimate goal of a meeting agenda is to make your meetings more productive.
We’ll look at some of the ways you can accomplish that in the next section.
3 Simple Ways to Make Your Meetings More Productive
Here are three simple ways in which you can host a productive meeting:
1. Send your meeting agendas ahead of time
Let’s say you made a super detailed agenda, but then you send it out at the last minute.
Instead of helping, you may have led your team to a mountain of panic thanks to the…
You don’t want to be THAT person. 😅
Make your meetings more productive and your team’s lives easier by sending your meeting agenda ahead of time.
This gives your team enough time to prepare and approach any meeting objective positively.
2. Maintain a decision log
You must be thinking:
Why include a decision log in your meeting agenda when you already have space for actionable tasks? 🤔
Well, a decision log outlines all the important settlements made during a meeting. It’ll help your team gain clarity if they’re confused about a decision or have any disagreements post the meeting.
Decision logs give your team crucial insights into their decisions, why they took those decisions, and who made them.
3. Use the right meeting management tool
Now that you have all this information about conducting a productive meeting, you may feel the urge to start planning your next meeting.
But hold on.
If you’re considering taking on the mammoth task of managing your team’s meetings manually, you’re in for a nightmare!
You’d have to manually create meeting agendas, share them with your team, assign tasks, and follow up on those tasks. We could go on and on.
But don’t worry!
Every problem has a solution.
And this one’s called a meeting management tool.
The right meeting management tool can manage all your meeting-related tasks with ease.
One such meeting management tool is ClickUp.
Seems too good to be true?
Well, here are some of ClickUp’s features that’ll help you believe that it’s the real deal:
- Notepad: create a plan for your meeting or meeting agenda on a completely private Notepad. You can even convert your meeting notes to an action item
- Docs: collaborate with your team with multiplayer editing for inputs on meeting discussion topics. Share your meeting agenda with anyone with Custom Permissions
- Task Templates: save tasks you used in your previous meeting agendas templates
- Super Rich Editing: get creative and organized with your meeting notes. Insert attachments, create checklists and banners, play with colors, etc
- Mind Maps: visualize your ideas post a brainstorming meeting on a blank canvas. You can even plan and organize projects, workflows, or existing tasks for a visual outline
- Due Dates: set Due Dates for an entire list or a task itself. This is a useful feature if you want your team to work on certain tasks before your meeting starts
- Task Description: add your meeting agenda to the task description. Edit it further using super-rich text editing and have your team share their inputs as written comments
- Assign Comments: create an action item for your meeting agenda through Assigned Comments
- Checklists: use Checklists within your meeting agenda or your Notepad, depending on your needs. Include them within a task for a collaborative meeting allowing your team to check off their to-dos. You can even save Checklists as Templates
- Recurring Tasks: use to avoid creating scheduled tasks or repeating meeting agendas every time you have a meeting
- Slash Commands: avoid unnecessary clicks by typing “/” to bring up the Slash Command menu and start taking immediate action. Set priorities and due dates, assign comments, and much more
- Integrations: collaborate with your team through integrations with popular meeting tools like Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.
Cross-off Stress from Your Work Life with Meeting Agendas
An effective meeting agenda will make team collaboration seem like a cakewalk.
And when collaboration becomes easy, your team can focus on amping up their productivity and getting their creative juices flowing.
With the help of a project management tool like ClickUp, writing effective meeting agendas and managing meetings are easier than ever!
ClickUp lets you document every meeting, manage agendas, take down effective meeting minutes, assign comments to your team, and so much more.
Ready to watch your team ace teamwork and hit all their objectives?
Get ClickUp for free today and say goodbye to meeting disasters. 👋
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