We have all attended meetings in where various attendees are unprepared and when the meeting overruns and becomes unproductive. These issues all stem from an ineffective meeting agenda. A meeting agenda sets the scene for everyone involved in the meeting. It is the one document everyone follows throughout the meeting setting specific expectations for what needs to be achieved before, during and after a meeting.
Furthermore, an effective meeting agenda helps everyone prepare and guarantee the meeting runs at an appropriate time and with a clear direction. The meeting host is responsible for structuring the meeting and ultimately ensuring the meeting is a success. Spending the time to prepare an effective meeting agenda for your meetings will help you accomplish exactly that. We here a Drum understand the value of an effective meeting and we are here to share our meeting agenda template which will make all of your meetings twice as successful.
The first necessary aspect of an effective meeting agenda is establishing a clear topic.This topic should be one which relates to the whole team and needs the whole team to solve issues related to the topic. Additionally, the topic sets the overall tone of your meeting as well as providing significant background and direction.As such, before you do anything else for your meeting the topic a top priority when creating a meeting agenda. The meeting attendees need to know what the meeting is about in order to prepare accordingly. Additionally, if you want your team to be more engaged in your meetings, make sure the agenda includes items which reflect their needs.
Creating an attendees list allows you to not only be prepared for your meeting, but it means you can be selective with who joins. You can choose the people you actually need there and easily remove people who will not directly relate to the web meeting topic. Additionally, creating an attendees list will help you know exactly who will be attending. This comes in real handy when knowing whether you need to wait for any of those late comers or if everyone is ready and willing.
It is important to estimate a realistic amount of time for each topic in your meeting. At the end of the day, you wouldn’t want your meeting to overrun by a couple of hours, would you? Well, we wouldn’t that’s for sure! A meeting which has overshot its allocated time not only becomes boring for all the attendees but will also be increasingly ineffective and unproductive in the long run. You need to calculate the time it would take for each topic to be introduced, discussed and resolved. Creating these time restrictions will make your web meetings more effective. This could be accomplished by doing a test run of a web meeting in which you allocate an approximate time for each agenda topic and try to stick to it! Don’t forget to notify the attendees of the expected timeframe of the meeting. This will avoid any cancellations or attendees leaving because they did not expect to stay this long.
Goals to be achieved:
Setting goals is important in any meeting where specific outcomes are expected. However, what’s more important is establishing a process for creating and addressing agenda goals. This process should identify a precise structure to approaching meeting discussing and making decisions. Doing so will make your meeting more effective and simultaneously serve as a method for reflecting on the overall success of your meeting.
Reflecting and Scheduling the next meeting:
Before the end of each meeting, it is important to reflect on what worked well and what can be improved in the future. You could ask every meeting participant to briefly address these questions and give their personal perspective on the effectiveness of your meeting. The purpose of this is to gain constructive feedback in order to tweak your meeting structure and get better results in the future. Additionally, scheduling the next meeting and establishing clear expectations for what needs to be accomplished is the second most important aspect of a meeting. By scheduling the next meeting, you make sure people stay on track and perform to their fullest potential (And remember, do not leave the meeting without assessing it together with the participants!).
It is clear, a meeting agenda provides the spine to every meeting. You, therefore, need to treat this agenda template as a checklist to successfully plan your meetings and realise the purpose of the goals. Additionally, when creating an agenda you should be accountable and explain your reasoning for organizing your meeting in this particular way. This will improve the team communication and fundamentally improve your future meetings (Read more about the importance of an effective meeting).