Writing an agenda? Well, you are already on the right path to an effective meeting, so how do you write an effective agenda? Is there such a thing? Can you write an agenda in a way that keeps the team on track and prepares them for discussion? In this week’s tip I’m going to share a couple simple tricks to encourage participation and have a prepared team by writing an effective and simple meeting agenda.
I’ve seen a ton of agendas in my time here at sparkspace and in my previous career. Remember tip #1: Have an Agenda? All those agendas I’ve printed right before the meeting begins, yeah, a lot of agendas! Most agendas are bullet-pointed or bold print with the specific topics and corresponding times. This is perfectly fine if you do not want much engagement during the meeting, but I have a few pointers that just may help you have an agenda that encourages engagement.
Tip #11: How to Write An Effective Agenda:
First of all, make sure all topics are geared towards the entire team. If they are not, the agenda either needs to be changed, or a separate meeting with the appropriate team members needs to scheduled for a later date. The entire team does not need to hear, in depth, a discussion on something that does not pertain directly to them or to their department. Having all meeting topics geared towards the audience at hand is a simple way to encourage participation and effective communication.
Secondly, having agenda topics in a question form will put the team into a “thinking” mode before the meeting even begins. How great would it be if everyone came to the meeting with discussion points or resolutions already on their minds? Pretty awesome, right?
For example, which of these two topics would increase preparation?
*Discussion on Facility Budget
*What are some ways we could reduce spending in our facility?
Obviously, the latter of the two promotes discussion and as long as the agenda is sent prior to the meeting, it allows the team to come prepared and ready to problem solve.
Lastly, having an accurate time frame with each discussion topic is important. This keeps the facilitator on track so all key points are discussed, and it also keeps the team happy that the meeting is going as scheduled (for example: lunch is at noon, and meeting ends at 4pm). When a facilitator is so off track with the agenda, the group becomes discouraged. “Are we still discussing the 9am topic at 1pm?” — very distracting and disorganized. If you’re creating an agenda just to have an agenda, don’t bother. Use the agenda for what it’s intended for……to have an effective meeting.
Having a team meeting agenda template is a great way to save time and energy when planning a meeting. This way the next time you’re called on to put together an agenda you can easily open up your template and insert the topics and timing.
If you need help creating an effective agenda when you book your next meeting at sparkspace, feel free to reach out to me. I would be happy to share specific ideas with you to help you design your best meeting ever.