We have all been in meetings where the participators lost track of the issue being discussed and deviated from the central plot. These problems arise from a poor agenda design. An effective meeting agenda sets clear expectations for what needs to be achieved during and after the meeting. An efficiently designed agenda helps to prepare well for the meeting and allocate the time wisely for all the different discussion.
A agenda also helps to channel all the attendees in the same direction. If problems still arise in the meeting, the agenda helps to address the issue and find a prospective solution. If you are looking for some useful tips to designing an effective meeting agenda, we have compiled a set of 10 tips that will help you design an agenda for a group of five or forty.
Before designing the agenda, make sure that the team agenda reflects the needs of your team members. Seek assistance from your team to decide the agenda items along with a reason supporting those items. Give a reason even if you decide to exclude one item from your agenda.
As team meeting can be difficult to organise considering the time constraint, a common project agenda needs to be devised for all the attendees. The topics to be discussed at the meeting need to be important and useful for all the members rather than just one individual. Choose the topics that are interdependent and affect the working on the organisation.
Make sure you list the topics and points to be discussed in a meeting clearly so that there is no confusion and the participants know the direction in which the meeting is heading. Listing down the questions will also help the team members to come up with constructive solutions. This practice will also help you monitor the progress of the meeting.
Keep a check whether the purpose of the professional agenda is to seek input for a decision, share information or make a decision. It is difficult for the team members to participate if they don’t know whether to just listen or contribute in the decision-making process.
Assign a brief time to answer the queries and questions of the members in the meeting. If you are a formal leader, you might want to start the agenda by saying, “If possible, I want us to make this decision by consensus, which means that everyone can support and work towards reaching a decision given their roles on the team.
Try and assign a realistic amount of time for each topic. For this, you need to roughly decide how much time it will take you to introduce the topic, answer questions, resolve different points of view and also come up with potential solutions to the topics being discussed. This will help you plan the meeting and also realise by what time would the team be able to make the final decision.