Often, organizations hold business meetings when certain key topics or issues within the business need to be discussed. These meetings are not always easy to handle, especially in cases with multiple issues and long discussions. So, to make sure that all the key topics you are looking to cover during the meeting are properly covered and that too within a destined time frame, using a business meeting agenda template can help.
Uses of a Business Meeting Agenda Template
- For discussing customer issues and getting feedback from them
- For holding vendor meetings to ensure their satisfaction
- To inform the financers about the business’ progress
- For business shareholders and partners to get together to plan new strategies
Benefits of Business Meeting Agenda Template
- It can easily be altered as per the need of the company or the requirement of the company
- Sharing this with all the members gives them a clear picture of what the meeting is all about
- A business meeting agenda acts a blueprint of what the meeting is all about, thereby ensuring that the meeting is conducted well within the stipulated time
How to develop a Business Meeting Agenda
When developing a business meeting agenda, the first thing you should do is to find out whether other members are needed to help you with the planning of the meeting. Then decide on what you are looking to achieve by holding the meeting, and establish achievable goals for the meeting. The objectives and goals you set will create the framework for an effective meeting plan. Ensure that you have not planned more than is reasonably achievable within the stipulated timeframe of your meeting.
The next thing is to estimate the amount of time you will need to cover each agenda item. For instance, if the meeting is a one-hour meeting and you have five agenda items, you must afford each item enough time for it to be properly covered during the meeting. This doesn’t mean that each item must be precisely 12 minutes, but the five items combined obviously cannot average more time than that.
Decisions to Make
After you have determined the goal of the meeting, you or your team will have to make certain decisions. In addition to the goals or objectives of the meeting, other things to include in the meeting agenda are:
- The date, time, and venue for the meeting
- Members needed in the meeting
- Items for discussion
- The duration each item must be allocated
- Pre-work for the meeting. This may include, reading meeting minutes from previous meetings, or any other preparations geared towards making your meeting a success
After establishing that a meeting is necessary to accomplish your business goals, you need to create a list of all the participants. Not every employee can or should be part of your meeting, but having the right people in your meeting will enhance your chances of success. Determine your participants by asking yourself these questions:
- Who needs to know the type of information you ate looking to share during the meeting?
- Who has the needed experience in the matters you are looking to discuss?
- Who has the skills needed to implement the desired solutions?
- Who must provide resources or permission to accomplish the meeting’s desired outcome?
- Who might oppose the implementation of the direction or desired solutions?
Regularly Scheduling Meetings
Not all meetings need a custom developed agenda. Most businesses hold regular meetings for their departments, shareholder, and workgroups. You also have projects and teams in which you are party to.
An ongoing project may not need a newly developed business meeting agenda for all the meetings you hold, but your team will be well served by adopting a standard approach to your meeting.
Three main segments must be included in every business meeting agenda:
- Informational Items: this includes any items that are informational for every meeting. For example, the executive manager updates the shareholders on the outcomes of the board meeting
- Action Items: Your business meeting agenda should include any items that you expect your team to review. For example, sales and marketing performance budget for the campaign period and the identification of cost-saving techniques
- Planning: Include in your list any items that your team would like to plan for or prepare for in advance. For example, the goals for next month’s sales and marketing campaign or the need for coworker assistance on the new campaign.
What to Include in Your Meeting Agenda
An agenda for a business meeting can help produce the results you so much desire by including some basic items:
- Review of the meeting’s agenda and expected outcomes and product
- Review of previous meeting minutes
- Providing all the participants information that they need
- Review progress on action items, commitments, and action plans
- Discuss all the agenda items and decide on the way forward
- Identify the purpose, outcome, and the next meeting’s agenda
- At the end of the meeting, the chair/note-taker should review the commitment made by all participants during the meeting
- Identify any assistance needed in completing some tasks from the people not in the group and assign participants to make contact
- Topic or type
There are different kinds of meetings that take place. It could be Directors’ meeting, Annual Shareholders’ meeting, department meeting or any project meeting. The topic or type of meeting should be mentioned at the top of the
agenda as a heading.
The date the meeting is scheduled to take place should be listed as a subheading below the main heading where the topic/type is mentioned. It is important to let participants know beforehand as they might have other meetings
or work on the scheduled day.
- Start time
The start time of the meeting should be clearly mentioned so that participants arrive a while before the meeting is about to start. Even when it’s an online meeting, the participants should be ready by logging in and testing the sound, video quality and other essentials needed for an online meeting. The time should be mentioned beforehand.
- End time
It is important to put an end time on the agenda as participants might have their personal work scheduled around the mentioned time. If any topic needs further discussion, mention during the meeting that the topic will be further
discussed in the next meeting and simply put it on the agenda for the next meeting. After that, move on to the next topic in the agenda.
Mentioning where the meeting is going to take place is essential as the participants need to know where to come for the meeting. If it’s an online meeting, access passwords and the website address should be provided. Providing a link to the location map could be useful.
List of the assigned roles for the meeting should be mentioned below the date and topic of the meeting. It will state the roles of all the participants. Important role assignments like who the time keeper will be, who the leader of the discussion will be, who the facilitator will be-everything should be mentioned.
This gives a brief summary of the meeting agenda. Why the participants are here, the time frame for each topic to be discussed and the name of the person to lead the discussion, and so on. It gives a gist of the whole meeting agenda.
Things to Avoid
- Don’t forget to mention the start and the end time of the meeting.
- Don’t forget to assign roles.
- Don’t forget to state the main topics to be discussed.
Running an effective and productive business meeting is more than just creating a great template – it is about managing the communication of information among all participants in the meeting. Is everything on the same page about what the objectives, goals, and topics of the meeting are? Has the agenda been shared with all the participants before the meeting? If you failed to attend the meeting, how can you be updated on the resolves? Making sure that the right people have access to vital information both during and after the meeting is key to operating a successful organization.