6 Items You Need for an Organized Meeting Agenda

6 Items You Need for an Organized Meeting Agenda

Sep 26, 2022

We all know productive meetingsshould be the norm, but a truly great meeting often feels so rare that it’s practically a cause for celebration. To have a productive meeting, you need the right meeting agenda.Effective meeting agendas are the backbone of every good meeting. When you send an agenda to your guest list alongside your calendar invite, meeting participants are more likely to prepare their ideas and materials and stay on topic.In this blog post, we’ll explain what you should include in your meeting agenda template, then provide examples of agendas for three types of meetings.

What to include in a meeting agenda

Meeting agenda: Kelly from The Office talking GIF

Good meeting agendas can double as outlines for your meeting notes, so it's important to follow a consistent template that helps you keep all your discussions organized. While the subject of your meeting will influence your final agenda draft, most meeting agendas will include the following six items:

1. Meeting participants

Before a meeting begins, the designated notetaker typically writes down the names of each person in the room. Though optional, creating a section in your agenda for this can remind your notetaker to complete this task — and writing out the names of guests ahead of time can help them save time when figuring out who is and isn’t present.For formal meetings like board meetings, a prewritten list of guests helps quickly determine if you’ve reached a quorum — the minimum number of members needed for binding decision-making.Bonus tip:Most effective meetings only have 5-8 people. Consider cutting down your meeting guest list to people who really need to be there.

2. Meeting objectives

If there’s one thing you shouldn’t waste your time on, it’s answering questions about a meeting at the meeting itself. When your meeting attendees know the purpose of the meeting before they enter the room, they can come prepared to contribute relevant information and ideas.To keep your entire team on the same page, identify your meeting objective or objectives at the top of your agenda. This will get your meeting guests in the same frame of mind, so you can efficiently work toward the same goals together.

3. Agenda items

Odds are, you don’t want to get thrown on stage without being warned ahead of time. Similarly, your meeting participants don’t want to get caught off-guard by questions and discussions they never prepared for. In your agenda, write a list of topics that you plan to discuss, and give your guests time to add topics, too. Consider writing your agenda items as questions or longer bullet points to give your guests extra context.If you plan to use your meeting agenda as your note-taking template, save some space under each meeting topic to write key points and decisions made.

4. Time frames

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Got a team member who could ramble on for hours during daily stand-ups? The best prevention for missed agenda items and meeting overtime is an agenda with time limits. When each discussion topic is given an allotted amount of time, your meeting attendees will know how much they need to prepare — and when they need to cut it short.Set realistic time frames to keep your meeting running at a good pace, with enough time to brainstorm grand ideas and make actual decisions.

5. Supporting documents

If everyone’s reading during your meeting, nothing will get discussed. To keep up the momentum of your next meeting, send out any supporting documents — like financial charts or contracts — to your guests ahead of time alongside your meeting agenda. Attendees will be able to review these documents before the meeting, so you don’t have to waste any time reviewing the content itself.Pro tip: Give your speakers a chance to contribute documents, but only when necessary. The more homework you assign your meeting participants, the less likely they are to get it done.

6. Action items

You won’t fill out your action items until the end of your upcoming meeting. However, adding this section to your agenda reminds your team to document next steps and assign out each task with deadlines. This way, every meeting actually leads to action.

Meeting agenda examples

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So what does a good meeting template look like in action? Let’s take a look at three meeting agenda examples that show what your final document can look like IRL.

Leadership team meeting agenda example

Leadership teams often have regular meetings, where each team member shares news from their department and updates on how they’re progressing towards their goals. Here’s what a great leadership team leading agenda can look like:

  • Roll call: Names of present attendees
  • Objective: To evaluate our progress toward our organizational goals based on each department’s success
  • Agenda items
  • Status updates: New initiatives and objectives (15 minutes)
  • Metrics: Updated KPIs for each department (15 minutes)
  • Wins: Top-performing strategies, milestones met, and other achievements (5 minutes)
  • Roadblocks: Current challenges and how they affect progress (5 minutes)
  • Action items
  • Tasks, those responsible for them, and time frames for completion

Nonprofit event committee meeting agenda

If you’re forming a brand new committee that’s working on a new project, like planning an event, your meeting agenda could end up looking like this one.

  • Introductions
  • Names of present attendees
  • Objective
  • To develop an action plan for how to plan the charity gala over the next six months
  • Agenda items
  • Event mission and purpose (5 minutes)
  • Gala theme reveal (5 minutes)
  • Fundraising, attendance, and awareness goals (10 minutes)
  • Brainstorming in breakout groups (25 minutes)
  • Recaps from leaders of each breakout group (10 minutes)
  • Next steps (5 minutes)
  • Action items
  • Tasks, those responsible for them, and time frames for completion

One-on-one meeting

Whether you’re working with employees, interns, or volunteers, you need to keep in touch with their team members to keep them motivated and on track. Here’s an example of what a one-on-one meeting agenda can look like.

  • Objective
  • Weekly check-in to evaluate the progress of the employee’s professional goals
  • Agenda items (5 minutes each)
  • What are you currently working on?
  • How are you feeling about your workload?
  • What progress are you making toward your professional goals?
  • What do you need help with?
  • What would you like to accomplish in the next week?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to discuss?
  • Action items
  • List tasks and time frames for completion

Capture your entire meeting with Anchor AI

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A great team meeting agenda can help your organization hold more productive meetings. By adding structure to your discussions, preparing attendees for the meetings, and setting time limits for each agenda item, you can stay organized and check every agenda item off your list.To make your meetings even more productive, consider using an automated note-taking tool. Anchor AI captures the most important aspects of your meetings in each transcription, from identifying speakers, to including keywords, time stamps, action items, and decisions made. With Anchor AI, you can focus on collaborating with your team while the software transcribes your notes. The software helps keep your meeting notes as organized as possible. Sign up for Anchor AI to be among the first to try out our tool.

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