How to Create an Effective Meeting Agenda – Best Meeting Agenda Tips

How to Create an Effective Meeting Agenda: Simple meeting agenda, How to ask for agenda items for a meeting, Business meeting agenda sample, How to write a formal meeting agenda, Agenda and minutes of meeting sample, Meeting agenda topics…see more details below.

How to Create an Effective Meeting Agenda: An agenda gives an abridged outline of what to expect during a meeting and how attendees can prepare for it. It should help others connect with the meeting’s purpose, assign tasks or items, and designate a realistic amount of time for each point. A great meeting agenda maximizes the meeting’s effectiveness and keeps proceedings on track.

How to Create an Effective Meeting Agenda

How to Create an Effective Meeting Agenda – Best Meeting Agenda Tips

Create and share the meeting agenda as early as possible: This allows everyone to prepare for what’s going to happen. At the very latest – and only for informal and team meetings – your client must have the final agenda 2 days before the meeting so that they can share it with attended 24 hours before the meeting. Formal meetings, like a board of directors or management meetings, require the agenda to be shared 1-3 weeks in advance so that the attendee can prepare adequately. This differs by company, so ask your client for their agenda distribution policy.

Share relevant pre-reading materials (also known as meeting packs) when you share the agenda: This might be a slide deck, background information, or a past decision. Instead of asking a lot of questions that take up valuable time, everyone attending the meeting will be on the same page and ready to move the topic forward.
Assign facilitators for each agenda item. This way, you allow them to prepare in advance. Ask your boss/client for direction on who to designate and what your responsibilities are in this area.

Define and prioritize your agenda items. Differentiate between the three categories of agenda items: informational, discussion topics, and action items. Clarifying the goal of each agenda item assists attendees in determining what is most important and where they should concentrate their attention. You’ll also want to prioritize which items are most critical and must be covered during the meeting, and which may be dealt with asynchronously if the time runs out.


Use your meeting agenda during the meeting to take minutes/ notes and action items: That way, all of the meeting information is in one place. If anyone has questions about decisions or action items from the meeting, they have an easy place to find them. 
Create flow by categorizing your agenda items. To maximize productivity, batch similar items together and ensure they can build off of one another. For example, list any informational items before the discussion items so everyone has all of the information going into the discussion.

Allocate enough time for each item on your agenda: Plan sufficient time for each agenda item by calculating an estimated time and adding a couple of minutes as a buffer. This will help with keeping the meeting on track and moving on from a topic when the time runs out.
All in all an agenda creates a meeting structure, shows consideration of others’ time and serves as a roadmap that will keep conversations on track without wasting time. Your client will appreciate anything that saves them time.

Key Elements for Minutes/Notes

Unless your want to explicitly capture verbatim (word for word minutes of who said what), you should do your best to capture:

  • Discussion points
  • Key information
  • Decisions
  • Action items
  • Deadlines and responsible people

Minutes/ notes don’t need to be long, complicated or in fancy language. They just need to be simple, clear and accurate about the discussion and key takeaways. Anyone not in the meeting should be able to read your minutes/notes and understand what transpired. 

Typically, there is a due date that meeting minutes and notes need to be distributed to attendees. It is usually shortly after the meeting, but the deadline for distribution varies by client, organization and meeting. Check in with your boss/client about how soon they expect you to complete and share the minutes/notes. That way, attendees can read the minutes/notes, send feedback and work on any action items that fall on their plate.

You must ensure that you draft the minutes in time for your client to review and provide feedback and that you incorporate that feedback before sending the final version to your client, for timely distribution. Ask your client about these timelines so you know how to plan and pace yourself.

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