A well-written meeting agenda leads to a well-organized formal meeting. When you are looking to complete your meeting within a short time without losing focus on the goal and yet coming up with the best decisions, you should consider equipping yourself with a formal meeting agenda. A formal meeting agenda template helps you govern the meeting so that the meeting can be conducted within the specified time. It also helps in focusing on the meeting’s objectives and leads to meaningful yet strong decision-making.
As with most meeting agendas, a formal meeting agenda is usually prepared in the form of a detailed notice and contains different types of information regarding the upcoming meeting that must be issued before the meeting. Circulating a formal meeting agenda before the meeting helps all the participants to plan well and ahead and, ultimately, increase the efficiency and outcome of the meeting.
When is a formal meeting agenda required?
One of the key processes of solving a problem in an organization is holding a meeting. A meeting helps to capture certain opportunities, fix issues or problems within the organization, and set an agenda. A formal meeting is usually arranged by the management of an organization to try and let the participants share their meaningful thoughts, plan, and execute further steps to attain a common goal.
In any business, meeting challenges, achieving goals, and keeping team members motivated are very much needed.
A formal meeting agenda is usually required when one would like to:
- Train your team members on something
- Give important information to your team
- Generate new ideas
- Manage crisis in the organization
- Perform assessment
- Consult your team and get valuable feedback
- Plan to achieve important organizational goals
How to Write a Formal Meeting Agenda
Writing a formal meeting agenda may seem like a forthright task, but it’s not always so. If an agenda is hurriedly put together right before the meeting and is unstructured or too vague, it will deliver little value.
Here are some basics for planning an effective agenda for your next meeting:
Make the meeting objective clear
The meeting agenda should provide a brief of what the meeting will cover. Would you like to update your team? Are you looking for feedback or input on certain issues? Do you want to plan or decide? The more clarity you can offer in your meeting agenda on the objectives of the meeting, the more likely you will be able to achieve them.
List agenda topics as tasks or questions
When writing a meeting agenda, try to avoid vague, ambiguous agenda items- make the purpose of the meeting clear from the onset. A great way to do it is to add support questions. For example, if you would like to share with your team a proposal for the next quarter’s sales goals, specify what you would like to find out.
Clarify expectations and responsibilities
Do you want all or specific participants to prepare anything in advance? Who will be leading what topic? If you would like someone on your team to explain some data or provide context for a topic, inform them in advance and afford them enough time to prepare rather than putting them on the spot during the meeting.
Approximate a realistic amount of time for each topic
One common blunder that most people make is packing the meeting agenda with too many items and failing to allocate enough time to go through all of them. Try to be realistic when scheduling your agenda items. If you want the discussion to be meaningful and overly rushed, allocate enough time, and consider how much time it would take to deliberate on a topic, gave potential solutions, and agree on the follow-up actions.
Get feedback from your team
What went well during the meeting? What needs to be changed? Are all the topics or items included in your meeting agenda relevant to all participants? Are you missing an important issue that needed to be addressed? If you would like all participants to be actively engaged during the meeting, it is important that you seek their feedback and consider including their opinions on your agenda.
What to include in your formal meeting agenda?
The items to be included in your formal meeting agenda depend on the goal of the meeting. However, regardless of whether you are holding a board meeting, a brainstorming session, or a quarterly reflective meeting, most formal meeting agendas include the following:
Information items: This includes a review of the meeting’s goals, agenda, and expected outcomes. It may also include approval of minutes of previous meetings, if applicable, and any other updates you may like to share with the team.
Action items: There are tasks or action plans that ought to be completed by your team members during or after the meeting.
Discussion items: These are items that emanate from your discussions. They are all the topics you would like your team to provide their feedback on.
When and where a Formal Meeting Agenda is required?
In the business world achieving targets, meeting challenges, keep team members motivated is very much needed.
A formal meeting agenda is required when you would to
- Give important information
- Generate new ideas
- Plan a task to achieve a important goal
- Consult team member & getting feedback
- Finding solutions/solving problems
- Crisis management
- Performance assessment
Meetings generally take place in meeting rooms when the agenda is formal and it does not need planning of venue as such.
But in case a big agenda is going to be set as it needs a lot of careful planning of venue, facilities, pre-planned resources. If the big important meeting is going to take place in big hotels you must not leave any stone unturned to make it successful and unless you trust the organizer implicitly you should check every facility, situation to check essentials, and preparation.
Other Aspects That You Need to Check or Even Set Up Personally Are:
- Seating layout
- Top-table position
- Demonstration items, paperwork, hand-outs, etc.
- Computer/laptop software i.e. power points and extensions
- Heating and lighting
- Flip chart position
- And back up resources
Free Templates & Samples
Sample: Formal Meeting Agenda
Executive Business Review
1. Standing Items:
• Take attendance
• Team status updates
• Approve prior meeting’s minutes
2. Last Meeting’s Business
• Michael Stephens – Sales and Marketing quota update (5 minutes)
• Paul Cortney – VP sales hiring pipeline (10 minutes)
3. New Business
• Tracey Kenwood – Discuss facilities move (10 minutes)
• Elisha Quinn – Employee survey results (20 minutes)
• Review of action item(s)
• Date of next meetings
Date | time [Date | time] | Location [Location]
Meeting called by [Meeting called by]
Type of meeting [Type of meeting]
Notetaker [Note taker]
Please read [Please read]
Please bring [Please bring]
Topic Presenter Time allotted
[Topic] [Presenter] [Time]
[Topic] [Presenter] [Time]
Special notes [Special notes]
Your logo here
[Sample Meeting Agenda Template]
Pyramid Model Team Meeting
Buddy for absent members:
Next Meetings dates and places:
Time Item Type of Action Decision Required?
9:00 Welcome/Introductions info sharing no
9:15 Action plan updates discussion yes
10:15 Selection of Coaches discussion yes
11:15 Continued planning of train discussion yes
the trainer events
Noon complete meeting evaluation & adjourn
Following are free staff meeting agenda templates that can be customized after downloading:
Formal meeting agendas are usually prepared for the higher/executive management of the organization who may be in a single location or dispersed according to their duties. A formal meeting agenda is a great way of maintaining the flow of the meeting and bringing everyone on board to help in deciding the necessary steps to deal with threats to the organization and derive benefits from any opportunities which they may have observed. A formal meeting agenda, just like any other meeting agenda, has its benefits, the main one being that it will help organize your meeting and will not allow your meeting to become a long slog, in which more than one meeting develops.