A meeting agenda is a business tool that is used by managers in order to run their meeting effectively and efficiently. It is an important tool that gives the participants of the meeting an outline for topics that will be under discussion in the particular meeting. This makes it easy for them to get ready for it as well as do some homework related to the topics, if necessary. Apart from this, the biggest advantage of a meeting agenda is that it not only keeps a meeting on the right track and on time, but also prevents pointless side discussions and disruptions. Although large organizations usually use a more structured, formal meeting agenda format, however, businesses on small level often use a more informal approach.
There are many forms of a meeting agenda, but the purpose of all of them is to list meeting topics that need to be discussed in the meeting. Sometimes meetings are arranged informally with some less serious matters that need to be discussed. An informal meeting is always less concentrated and arduous. It is always arranged in a less formal setting. However, it does not mean that it is arranged in an eccentric way. In order to get desired results from a meeting, it should be properly arranged and managed. Like a formal meeting, an informal meeting should also have its own agenda so that meeting participants can follow them as well as there is some discipline and organization in the meeting.
List the invited participants and the time selected for the meeting at the top of the meeting agenda. After adding the meeting topics, it is important to add a time limit to each topic on the agenda and strictly follow it so that all the topics can be discussed and the meeting could close on time. If meeting participants are required to prepare reports and/or updates on certain topics prior to meeting then give out the meeting agendas ahead of time.
Here is preview of a Free Sample Informal Meeting Agenda Template created using MS Word,
Before creating a meeting agenda, start with reviewing the minutes of the previous meeting. The minutes are a synopsis of who attended the meeting, what was discussed, what were decisions that were made, and the results of any votes. It would be very helpful in creating an upcoming meeting agenda if you look for any agenda topics that meeting participants were assigned to follow up on. Include an appraisal of those outstanding issues with updates on their present statuses as a first agenda topic.
Remember that using bullet points in each section of the agenda helps in outlining the important areas of discussion as well as the projected outcomes, which is commonly known as meeting minutes.
At the end of the meeting, a brief review of new outstanding issues allows meeting participants to remember them. Also, this is the time to announce any other meeting or forthcoming deadlines. The importance of a meeting agenda cannot be denied, therefore, it should be created carefully. Follow the above mentioned guidelines to create an informal meeting agenda as well as to save your time and energy.
Here is download link for above shown Informal Meeting Agenda,