There’s more to running a successful meeting than simply getting your team together in the same place and seeing what discussion topics come up. Sure, some types of meetings can be casual and spontaneous, but most meetings call for an effective meeting agenda to move things along.Your agenda doesn’t have to account for every minute of the meeting. But by brainstorming agenda items in advance and sending them to meeting participants for feedback, everyone can get on the same page about the meeting objective, agenda topics, and action items.Let’s take a look at some common meeting agenda examples, as well as a few tips for how to create your own meeting template and have more productive meetings.
Why do you need a meeting agenda?
If you’re the kind of meeting facilitator who likes to wing it, you may wonder if it’s even worth taking the time to put together a meeting agenda. Maybe you don’t mind having to stay late or push some action items to the next meeting.Well, chances are the other members of your team or organization do — and lacking an agenda can keep your meetings from being more productive.Not only will a meeting agenda make it easier to facilitate and take meeting notes, but it shows that you respect your colleagues’ time and contributions.If there’s a clear timeframe for the meeting, participants can plan their day around it, and they’ll be less likely to show up late or multi-task. Plus, by sending out a meeting agenda in advance, participants can research any agenda topics they’re not familiar with or suggest additional topics of their own.Besides, once you come up with an effective meeting agenda template, you can use it again for any recurring meetings. This is especially important for meetings that require you to keep formal meeting minutes, such as board meetings or business meetings.
5 Meeting agenda examples
So, how do you go about putting together a meeting agenda? Let’s start by looking at meeting agenda examples for five types of meetings.These meeting agendas vary depending on the purpose of the meeting, but you’ll notice there are plenty of similarities between them. The key is to start with a meeting agenda template and make it your own.Here’s a handy tip: If you’re hosting a virtual meeting using Zoom or Microsoft Teams, you can share the agenda there so it’s easy for everyone to follow along.
1. Formal meeting agenda
Formal meetings can sound intimidating, but really, we’re just talking about any kind of professional meeting, from a staff meeting to a leadership team meeting. Your formal meeting agenda can look something like this:Call to order: Include the date, time, and location of the meeting, as well as the name of the facilitator, chairperson, or any other roles.Attendance: Have the note-taker record the names and roles of all meeting participants, including any members who are absent.Approval of meeting minutes: If you have minutes from a previous meeting that haven’t been approved yet, include them in your meeting materials. The team should vote to approve them before moving on to the next item on the agenda.Officer or committee reports: Allow several minutes for each officer to provide a status update on their department or committee, such as budgeting, event planning, or business metrics.Motions: The majority of the meeting should be set aside for discussion and decision-making. Be sure to follow the appropriate rules for making and seconding a motion.Announcements: Leave time for any announcements by individuals or committees, such as upcoming events or deadlines.Adjournment: Finally, close the meeting by officially adjourning it.
2. Board meeting agenda
A board meeting is a type of formal meeting, so your board meeting agenda may look similar to the one above. However, board meetings have a few distinguishing factors, such as a requirement to take formal meeting minutes for stakeholders.Here’s a sample meeting agenda for your next board meeting:Call to order: Begin the meeting. The note-taker should record the date, time, and location of the meeting.Attendance: Take note of which board members are present and which are unable to attend. This is especially important for board meetings, since you may need to have a quorum in order to make any binding decisions.Approval of minutes: Call for a vote to approve the minutes from the previous meeting.Officer or committee reports: Allow five minutes for each officer or committee to provide a status update.Old business: If a topic has been introduced at a previous meeting, it’s considered “old business.” This part of the meeting can have multiple agenda items under discussion.New business: Topics that haven’t been introduced yet fall under “new business.” Be sure to estimate how much time each item will take to avoid running out of time.Announcements: Wrap up the meeting with any relevant news or announcements.Adjournment: End the meeting and set a date and time for the next one.
3. Team meeting agenda
Now, we’re moving on to meeting agenda examples that are slightly less formal but still need to be taken seriously, such as an all-hands meeting or team meeting.These can include brainstorming sessions, daily stand-ups, and weekly check-ins. The goal of the meeting may vary, but the general format is the same.Here’s how to put together a team meeting agenda:Introduction/icebreakers: After calling the meeting to order, give new hires a chance to introduce themselves. If the entire team knows each other already, set aside a few minutes for icebreaker questions to help loosen the mood. These can be anything from “Who was your favorite elementary school teacher?” to “What’s one place you’d like to travel?” Meetings of 20+ people may prefer to do this in small groups or breakout rooms.Agenda preview: Outline the agenda items and approve any last-minute changes or additions.Discussion topics: Talk through each item on the agenda one-by-one. Try to stick to the alloted time for each topic and document any action items to return to later.Action item review: Wrap up the meeting by reviewing each action item and confirming who’s responsible for those next steps.Adjournment: End the meeting by confirming the date and time for the next one.
4. Project kickoff meeting agenda
A project kickoff meeting is a little different from a team meeting, since it may involve team members from multiple departments and even external stakeholders. The project manager will facilitate this meeting.And of course, your meeting agenda template may vary depending on which project management method you use, such as the Scrum or waterfall method.Here’s one way to structure a project kickoff meeting:Introductions: Start with a round of introductions so everyone on the team knows who’s who.Project overview: Next, introduce the project and define its scope. What is the ultimate goal of the project? Can you break it into phases and smaller steps? What timeline should everyone expect?Project roles and responsibilities: Identify who’s responsible for each aspect of the project and how communication will work between teams.Deadlines and deliverables: Discuss the project timeline, budget, milestones, deliverables, and any other factors that are relevant to the success of the project.Action item review: Wrap up by identifying any next steps or action items, who’s responsible for them, and when they should be completed.
5. Retrospective meeting agenda
A retrospective meeting is essentially the opposite of a project kickoff meeting. It’s a time to reflect on a project, initiative, or sprint and discuss what went better and what you’d like to improve next time.Here’s a meeting agenda example for a retrospective meeting:Introductions: If you’d like to keep things casual and fun, start with an icebreaker question like “What was your favorite part of this project?” If that doesn’t seem appropriate, you can simply summarize the project goals and what you’ve accomplished.What went well: Spend the first part of the meeting celebrating any big wins, and show your appreciation for team members who went above and beyond expectations.What didn’t go well: Discuss any challenges or issues you encountered along the way, and see if you can figure out why things happened the way they did.What we could do better: Make a plan to learn from your mistakes and do an even better job on the next project.
Great meeting agendas and clear notes are a winning combination
These meeting agenda examples cover just some of the types of meetings you’ll have at your work or organization. No matter what kind of meeting you’re planning – whether it’s a one-on-one meeting with a manager or a sales meeting with a prospective client, you’ll have a more productive meeting by using a suitable template.Don’t forget: Meeting notes and meeting agendas go hand-in-hand. By taking great notes, you’ll be able to follow-up on any action items and send out meeting minutes for approval before the next meeting.Anchor AI can make sure you have thorough notes from all your meetings. Our automated note-taking tool that can transcribe meetings in real-time. Simply invite Anchor AI to your next virtual meeting, or upload an audio recording afterwards.Learn more about how it works here, or try out the beta version to get started.