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. A Meeting Agenda not only keeps a meeting on the right track and ends it on time, but also prevents unnecessary side discussions and distractions. Large business organizations mostly use a more structured, formal meeting agenda format; on the other hand, 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 business meetings are arranged informally with some less serious matters that need to be discussed. And sometimes, a more formal format of meeting agenda is required to use it in an official or high level meeting. An informal business meeting is always less concentrated and arduous, whereas a formal business meeting is always followed by series of follow-up meetings with full concentration and deliberation.
In order to get desired results from a business meeting, it should be properly arranged and managed. Following are the main components of a business meeting agenda:
- Call to order
- Opening Ceremony
- Roll call and last meeting’s minutes
- Business updates
- Unfinished business
- New business
- Next meeting date and location
List the attendees and the time selected for the meeting at the top of the business 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 attendees 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 Annual Business Meeting Agenda Template created using MS Word,
Here is download link for this Annual Business Meeting Agenda Template,
Before creating a business meeting agenda, start with reviewing the minutes of the previous meeting. The minutes are a summary of who attended the meeting, what was discussed, and what decisions were made. Look for any agenda topics that meeting participants were assigned to follow up on and include a review of those outstanding issues with updates on their current 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 expected results, which is generally known as meeting minutes.
At the end of the meeting, a brief review of new outstanding issues allows meeting attendees to remember them. Also, this is the time to announce any other meeting or forthcoming deadlines. Since the importance of a meeting agenda cannot be denied, therefore, it should be created carefully. Follow the above mentioned guidelines to create a business meeting agenda and save your energy and time.
Unique Business Meeting Ideas
In order to get open, fun, creative and making participants of the meetings involved in the business meeting managers need to go beyond the usual boring tricks of conducting meetings. Here are few unique ideas and ways to make your meetings exciting and successful.
For active participation it is one of the most unique ideas to open the meeting with a positive round.The whole meeting is dependent on how the meeting has started off so focus on the starting of your business meeting. Do not start the meeting with complaints, problems and blaming each other. Start your meeting with something positive and the rest of the meeting will be much fun. The best approach of starting a meeting positively is possible by asking each participant to briefly i.e. less than 30 seconds share something which is positive. You can have some ideas from given below
- Mention something you have achieved since the last meeting that makes you proud?
- Mention a person who has been helping you since our last meeting was conducted
- Mention one thing that you are looking forward in the coming week/month?
- What’s the funniest thing someone said to you in the last week? Mention something amusing that you learnt since the last meeting was conducted.
Get the body in there
Meeting Agenda Templates (Public Domain)
Here is a collection of Free Meeting Agenda Template available online for download.
Your body tires out by sitting still for long time. The longer you sit still, the tougher it becomes for the body and the body gets tired. And when the body is tired it tires out the mind as well. A very simple thing to do is to get people to stand up and stretch to become active and more participate in the business meeting. It only takes a minute to:
- Get everyone to stand up.
- Bounce on your feet for 10 seconds, just to get the blood flow.
- Stretch your arms up. Keep your arms up and lean to the right. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Lean to the left, hold.
- Lean back, hold.
- Lean forward, touches your toes.
- Sit back down.