How successful your meeting is, will depend a lot on your agenda. An agenda is nothing, but a list of things that need to be considered or done. It communicates important information, such as the presenter or discussion leader, for each topic that is listed in it, as well as, the time allotted for each topic. It also details the task responsibility, and outlines, how much time is to be spent on each topic. An agenda can also be used as a checklist, to ensure that all information that has to be covered is actually covered. It also keeps, participants informed of what will be covered in the meeting, and provides focus for the meeting. If you have been given the responsibility for making out an agenda, you could follow few simple suggestions, to make the meeting successful.
Setting Meeting Agendas
- Keeping in mind the goal of the meeting, send out an e-mail stating the goal as well as the details, as to when the meeting will be. You could give people the option of accepting or declining the meeting. Once a person has accepted to attend the meeting, make sure that he attends it.
- If participants require an agenda item, ask them to get in touch with you, at least two days, before the meeting. They will also need to inform you of the amount of time, they will need to prepare it.
- Ensure that all agenda requests are submitted to you in advance. Once this is done, summarize all of them in a tabular format, with appropriate headings. You will need to ensure that each item on the agenda is tagged appropriately. If there happens to be an inappropriate request, you could suggest to the person who made the request that the item be discussed in the next meeting. This suggestion could be made through e-mail.
- Be realistic when you allocate time to each person to present their material. If you cram, too many items into a meeting these will go overtime and will not be liked much by participants. It is best to schedule a 50-minutes meeting, if you plan to take an hour. In this way, you will have 10 minutes to spare at the end in case of any further discussions.
- Just a day before the meeting, ensure that you send the agenda to all participants with a reminder of all that is expected out of the meeting, as well as the duration. Check once more with the presenters about whether they are happy with the amount of time allocated as well as the, order in which they would be presenting their material. This will ensure that, things go smoothly.
- The most important thing to do when an agenda is set, is to follow it. This will ensure the success of the meeting.