How to create an agenda

Preparation determines whether you will achieve your desired outcomes

How to create an agenda

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How to create an agenda

Susan Heathfield is an HR and management consultant with an MS degree. She has decades of experience writing about human resources.

A meeting agenda is a list of items that participants hope to accomplish at a meeting. The agenda should be distributed in advance of a meeting, minimally 24 hours in advance so that participants have the opportunity to prepare for the meeting. Preferably, if possible, the agenda should be available several days before the meeting. The more time your colleagues have available to prepare for a meeting, the more likely they will attend prepared to participate effectively.

Developing a Meeting Agenda

The first step in developing an agenda is to identify whether other employees are needed to help you plan the meeting. Then, decide what you hope to accomplish by holding the meeting, and establish doable goals for your meeting. The goals you set will establish the framework for an effective meeting plan. Make certain that you have not planned more than is reasonably achievable within the timeframe of your meeting.

As Stephen Covey said in “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” “Begin with the end in mind.” Your meeting purpose will determine the meeting focus, the meeting agenda, and the meeting participants.

Then, consider how much time you expect to need for each agenda item. If the meeting is to last one hour and you have five agenda items, that gives you a general idea of the timeframe you’re working with. It doesn’t mean every agenda item must be precisely 12 minutes, but the five combined obviously cannot average more time than that.

Decisions to Make

After determining your overall goal, you or your team need to make certain decisions. In addition to the purpose or goal of the meeting, also include with your agenda:

  • A date, time, and location for the meeting
  • Participants needed in the meeting
  • Items for discussion
  • The amount of time that you anticipate the group will need to discuss each item
  • Pre-work for the meeting. This will include any reading, documentation, data, meeting minutes from a prior meeting, or any other preparation that will make your actual meeting successful. Relevant documents should be attached to the meeting notice and agenda when you distribute them to invited participants.

Identifying Participants

Once you have decided that a meeting is necessary to accomplish your goal, you need to develop a list of participants. Not every employee can or should participate in every meeting, but inviting the right participants will enhance your likelihood of success. Determine your participants by asking yourself some questions:

  • Who must own the solution the group develops?
  • Who owns the process the group is discussing?
  • Who needs to know the information you are distributing?
  • Who can provide data and facts to guide decision making?
  • Who has experience or expertise to share with the group?
  • Who must support the implementation of any solutions or tasks?
  • Who must provide permission or resources to accomplish the meeting outcome?
  • Who might oppose the implementation of any solutions or direction?

Agendas for Regularly Scheduled Meetings

Not every meeting needs a custom developed agenda. Most employees have regularly scheduled meetings for their departments or workgroups. You also have teams and projects in which you participate.

An ongoing project may not require a newly developed agenda for every meeting, but your team will be well served by adopting a standard approach to your meeting. The regularly scheduled employee meeting is divided into three segments for which each has standard agenda items:

Informational items

Write out any agenda items that are informational for every meeting. For example, the manager updates the group on the outcomes of the senior management meeting.

Action items

Place on the agenda any items that you expect the group will want to review at every regularly scheduled meeting. For example, performance to budget for the time period and the identification of cost savings and continuous improvements the group plans to achieve.

Forward planning

Place on the agenda any items that the group wants to plan for or prepare for in advance. For example, the short-term goals for the next month or the need for coworker assistance on upcoming assignments.

If you follow these guidelines when you develop your meeting agenda, you enhance the probability that your meeting will be more productive.

What to Include on Your Meeting Agenda

An agenda for a regularly scheduled meeting can help produce the results you seek by including some basic items:

  • Warm-up and greetings. Consider a brief ice breaker depending on how frequently the group meets. Even in an online meeting, participants may be well served by an icebreaker.
  • Review the meeting’s purpose, agenda, and expected outcomes and product.
  • Review, correct (if necessary), and approve the minutes of the prior meeting.
  • Provide appropriate departmental and company information that the team needs.
  • Review progress on action items, action plans, and commitments. Review group progress on goals.
  • Discuss and make decisions about the agenda items for this meeting.
  • Identify next steps.
  • Identify the purpose, outcome, and agenda for the next meeting.
  • At the end of the meeting, the note taker should review the commitments made by people during the meeting.
  • Identify any assistance needed from people not in the group and assign participants to make contact.
  • Determine who outside of the meeting participants needs to know what and decide how you will accomplish the communication.
  • Distribute minutes within 24 hours of the meeting or immediately if the note taker took them electronically.

The Bottom Line

You can make your online or in-person meetings more effective and more likely to produce the results you seek when you make a detailed agenda. The agenda is the result of your disciplined thinking about the outcomes you desire to achieve. The meeting agenda is the external manifestation of your plan and goals.

You’ve been tasked with having to set up a meeting for work. Part of setting up a meeting is to organize the meeting – details of the meeting, making sure everyone is there, and setting an agenda. Taking the time to organize a meeting agenda will help the meeting become more effective. Here are the steps involved in how to organize a meeting for your direct team, or for client-facing meetings.

Tips on How to Organize a Meeting

Send a detailed agenda

A business meeting starts with organizing an agenda. An agenda should include all of the basics, including the meeting area (or a link to a virtual conference), the time of the meeting, the expected duration of the meeting, and details about the meeting. You’ll also need to schedule the meeting to make sure your attendees can make it.

Include the purpose of the meeting on the agenda

The meeting agenda should also clearly state the purpose of the meeting. When the purpose is clearly and concisely written in the agenda, the meeting attendees have a better understanding of what to expect and how to prepare. Great communication in meetings starts with an agenda that has a purpose clearly stated, so be sure to add one so everyone attending the meeting knows why the meeting has been called.

Agenda Includes what is needed from meeting attendees

In addition to the purpose, consider including what is expected of specific attendees for the meeting. For instance, if there are tasks that members of the team have been working on and are required to provide a status update, that should be mentioned on the agenda. Again, this helps increase the level of communication going into the meeting, making it very clear what should be reviewed and everyone’s role in the meeting. In the off-chance someone doesn’t read the agenda, it doesn’t hurt to remind meeting attendees individually of what is needed from them for the meeting.

Decide who needs to be at the meeting

Part of organizing a meeting is deciding who on the team needs to attend. The most important thing is to be sure you’re not leaving anyone important out of the meeting invite. Next, consider just how many people should be at the meeting – smaller meetings tend to go quicker, so if you limit the number of attendees to only those that need to be there, the meeting may go better.

Be the facilitator during the meeting

Being organized doesn’t always apply to prepare for meetings. During the meeting, the meeting facilitator helps others get involved, while making sure the meeting to stay on track. Often, the person who organizes the meeting facilitates the meeting, but whoever it is, it’s important to decide prior to the meeting.

Yoyomeeting organizes a meeting agenda for you

yoyomeeting is a meeting management software that helps organize a meeting. Here are some features on how yoyomeeting can organize your team and business meetings.

Send a Detailed Agenda

With yoyomeeting, not only can you easily organize a meeting agenda, you can set a detailed agenda by adding a title, description, and agenda items to discuss during the meeting.

Include Agenda Items Before Your Meeting

With yoyomeeting, you can send an agenda with agenda items included. Not only are agenda items used for briefing your team before a meeting, you can also use the agenda items during the meeting – that way you and your team can stay on track and accomplish what you need to during the meeting.

Invite Your Team Members to The Meeting

With yoyomeeting, you can easily invite team members and others to the meeting you create. In addition to invites, you can record the members who attended the meeting, and who didn’t make it.

How to create an agenda

Take Great Meeting Notes

With meeting notes in mind, yoyomeeting makes it easy to take notes on the fly during a meeting. Our meeting software makes recapping meeting results so easy, it’s almost automated!

How to create an agenda

Monitor your time boxes for better focus

During meetings, yoyomeeting helps you stay on track with each agenda item created with our timeboxing planner feature. Each agenda has a timebox assigned to it.

Recaps for those who miss the meeting

Let’s face it – not everyone can make every meeting. Part of organizing a meeting is making sure the right people get the right information that comes out of the meeting. Yoyomeeting allows you to add the recipients who did not attend the meeting but need the results of the meeting.

It’s Time to Start Organizing Your Meetings Better

Organize your meetings with yoyomeeting, a meeting management software for Office 365. Our plug-in helps you stay organized through the meeting process – from meeting planning, meeting recording, and meeting recaps. Get your 2-week trial of yoyomeeting today.

Copy to Clipboard

When leading a business meeting, you might be responsible for managing a large number of people and tasks. An effective meeting agenda can help you make sure you discuss all the necessary material, keep the meeting on topic and ensure that your group uses time efficiently. In this article, we’ll cover how to create a meeting agenda that will help you effectively lead any meeting.

What is a meeting agenda?

A meeting agenda is a list of topics or activities you want to cover during your meeting. The main purpose of the agenda is to give participants a clear outline of what should happen in the meeting, who will lead each task and how long each step should take. Having this information before and during the meeting should ensure that it proceeds efficiently and productively.

How to write a meeting agenda

Whether you have a short, one-hour meeting or one that lasts a full day, you can use these steps to help you write an agenda:

Identify the meeting’s goals.

Ask participants for input.

List the questions you want to address.

Identify the purpose of each task.

Estimate the amount of time to spend on each topic.

Identify who leads each topic.

End each meeting with a review.

1. Identify the meeting’s goal

When you start with your goal, you can make sure the purpose of the meeting is clear and every task you want to cover is related to your objective. Make sure to set an achievable goal to keep your meeting as focused as possible. For example, a meeting goal to approve the company’s monthly advertising budget is more attainable than a goal to improve spending overall.

2. Ask participants for input

If you want to keep your participants engaged during the meeting, ask for their input beforehand so you can be sure the meeting fulfills their needs. You can ask them to suggest what topics they would like covered or what questions they have. Once you have a list of ideas from the participants, you can review them and decide which items you’ll ultimately include.

3. List the questions you want to address

Once you know your meeting’s objective and have some ideas about the topics you want to cover, list the questions you need to answer during the meeting. Some meeting agendas simply list a topic as a phrase, for example: “ rental equipment. ” However, you can clarify each agenda item’s purpose by phrasing discussion points as questions. For example, you could write, “ Under what conditions should we consider renting equipment instead of buying it? ” These prompts can ensure you are inviting discussion and gathering all of the information you need for each agenda topic.

4. Identify the purpose of each task

Every task you complete during your meeting should have a purpose. Typically, the three main purposes are to share information, seek input or make a decision. As you’re going through your agenda, make note of the purpose of each task. This step will help meeting participants know when you want their input and when it’s time to make a decision.

5. Estimate the amount of time to spend on each topic

Next, estimate how much time you plan to spend on each task. This part of the agenda ensures you have enough time to cover all of the topics you have planned for your meeting. It also helps participants adjust their comments and questions to fit within the timeframe.

You can optimize your timeframe by giving more time to items you anticipate taking longer to discuss or scheduling items of higher importance earlier in the discussion to ensure vital topics are covered. If you have many people coming to your meeting, you may even limit time on certain topics to streamline the conversation, encourage a quick decision if needed and keep the meeting on schedule.

6. Identify who leads each topic

Occasionally, someone other than the meeting leader will lead the discussion on the topic. If you plan on having other people mediate topics during your meeting, you can identify them under their respective topic. This step helps keep the meeting running smoothly and ensures that everyone is prepared for their responsibilities.

7. End each meeting with a review

Leaving time to end each meeting with a review can help participants better understand what decisions they made and what information they discussed so they can take any necessary steps after the meeting. During this review, you and your meeting participants should also consider what went well during the meeting and what needs improvement. By taking a few minutes to consider these questions, you can make sure your next meeting is even more effective.

Meeting agenda template

Here’s an outline that you can tailor to nearly any type of meeting:

1. Agenda item one description

a. Remarks
b. Remarks
c. Remarks

2. Agenda item two description

a. Remarks
b. Remarks
c. Remarks

3. Agenda item three description

a. Remarks
i. Additional remarks
ii. Additional remarks
b. Remarks
c. Remarks

4. Agenda item four description

a. Remarks
b. Remarks
c. Remarks

5. Agenda item five description

a. Remarks
i. Additional remarks
ii. Additional remarks
iii. Additional remarks
b. Remarks
c. Remarks

6. End of meeting review

a. What did we do well in this meeting?
b. What should we do differently next meeting?

Meeting agenda example

You can use the following sample meeting schedule when crafting your own agenda:

Date: Aug. 1, 2019
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Conference Room A

*Goals: Review the marketing campaigns from last year, identify seasonal slumps in product demand, brainstorm ways to increase demand during these slumps and make sure we’re prepared for the next marketing campaign.*

1. Review marketing campaigns from last year.

Time: 15 minutes
Purpose: Share information
Leader: Jamal Adams

a. Present the marketing campaigns from last year.
b. Review the sales numbers after each campaign.
c. Identify which campaigns seemed to have the biggest impact.

2. How do we best manage the fluctuating demand for our product?

Time: 30 minutes
Purpose: Decision
Leader: Blair Hanline

a. Review sales numbers from the last four quarters.
b. Identify any trends in sales numbers.
c. Brainstorm ideas on how to increase sales during those slumps.

3. Preparing for the next marketing campaign

Time: 15 minutes
Purpose: Decision
Leader: Blair Hanline

a. What do we need to prepare for the next marketing campaign?
i. Review the attached marketing campaign materials.
ii. Identify tasks for each team member.
b. How will we track the effectiveness of this campaign?
c. Review sales goals for this campaign.

4. End of meeting review

Time: 5 minutes
Purpose: Decision

Leader: Jamal Adams
a. What did we do well in this meeting?
b. What should we do differently next meeting?

Learn how to write a professional agenda for a meeting

An agenda is simply a written plan of topics to be discussed during a meeting, and every meeting should follow an agenda. A proper agenda will make the meeting more efficient, helping the group achieve better results. Here are some tips on how to write a meeting agenda:

4 steps on how to write an agenda for a meeting:

  1. Select a meeting agenda template
  2. Brainstorm the agenda topics using a mind map
  3. Gather information for writing an agenda
  4. Write the agenda

1 Select a Template to Write the Agenda

Using a meeting template is a great place to start when learning how to write an agenda for a meeting. With millions of meetings held every day, there are a lot of resources available however the variety of meetings can make it tricky to find a perfect template. Fortunately, some meetings are fairly standardized and here are a few examples you can use for inspiration:

  • Board meeting agenda template
  • Staff meeting agenda template
  • Sales meeting agenda template
  • Business meeting agenda template

How to create an agenda

2 Brainstorm the Agenda Using a Mind Map

Traditionally, agendas are created in MS Word, making it difficult to get an overview of the topics you would like to include in your agenda. Linear programs are not well-suited for brainstorming which is why many people like using mind mapping software to brainstorm agenda topics. Mind mapping allows you to get an organic visual overview of topics that can later be exported to Word as the agenda. When learning how to write an agenda for a meeting, mind mapping may be a useful tool.

How to create an agenda

3 Gather Information for Writing an Agenda

It is important to get input from participants about what they think should be in the meeting agenda, especially if you are writing an agenda for a manager or supervisor. Send out emails or include participants in the agenda topic brainstorming session. There are also meeting management software tools like MeetingBooster, which assist you in writing the agenda in an environment where participants can submit suggestions electronically.

Meetings can belong to a series of meetings which may span over weeks or months, so it is always suggested to review prior meeting minutes to include parked topics or unresolved issues. You will find that often times there are repetitive topics in meetings that belong to a series.

How to create an agenda

4 Write the Agenda

After gathering the information and creating an outline of topics, you can finally start writing an agenda for the meeting. Lots of professionals use a standard Word processor or meeting management software like MeetingBooster to write an agenda. MeetingBooster’s agenda writing module allows you to quickly enter topics, topic durations and include file attachments. Remember to allocate adequate times for important topics.

Learn how to write an agenda with MeetingBooster

A blog about using OneNote® to get organized and increase your productivity at home and work, so that you can work smarter and play harder.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

How to create an agenda quickly

In my last post, I shared an agenda layout that has proven effective for nearly any working meeting. In this post, I’ll show you how to create that agenda quickly from MS-Outlook.

OneNote and MS-Outlook are well integrated. In order to launch OneNote and create a page from an MS-Outlook event, select (single click) an MS-Outlook event on your calendar; then, select the OneNote icon. Figure 1, below, is a screen clip of an outlook calendar on August 25, 2013. I used a red pen to circle the OneNote icon and a meeting event titled “My Sample Meeting”.

How to create an agenda
Figure 1

After you click the OneNote icon, the system will ask you where you want to store the page. As a review, I will remind you that Pages are stored in Sections, so basically, the system is asking in which section do you want to store the page. If you don’t already have your notebook organized, just put it in any section for now. You can easily move the page to another section later by dragging and dropping into another section. Once you’ve done this, the system will respond with something like the following.

How to create an agenda
Figure 2

You may notice that the Attendee names are in a string, delimited by semi-colons. You can manually convert this string into a single column list by manually deleting the semi-colons and hitting the to put the next name on the next line. Afterwards, select the entire list of names and press +1. This will add a “Participant” tag to each attendee on the list.

You also need to replace the “Message” row of the header with two new rows: the “Purpose” row, and the “Desired Outcomes” row. To do this, simply edit the “Message” label to say “Purpose”. Tab to the next field and type the purpose of the meeting. Tab again to add another row; there, type the “”Desired Outcome(s)” label. Tab again to type the desired outcome(s) of the meeting.

You may have noticed that the font of the “Desired Outcome(s)” label looks a bit different from the others. I fix this with the format painter icon. (i.e., Select the “Subject” header and click the Format Painter icon from the top left of the menu bar; then select the “Desired Outcomes” label. Doing so, will cause the “Desired Outcome(s)” label to match the “Subject” label.)

Now that you have the header of the agenda created, you can create the body. Once you create your first Agenda table, you can easily copy to another future agenda page and edit it for the new meeting. I always leverage previous work where I can.

In order to create your first agenda table, just type the word “Agenda”, and change the font to something like 16 pt. Bold Calibri as I did in figure 2, below.

You’ll need to hit enter to go to the next line where you will insert the table. To insert the table, simply select the “Insert” menu item near the top of the window. From there, use the table feature to insert a table that is four columns wide and six columns tall. In the first row, type the headers to match the headers in my Agenda table (“Start”, “Agenda Item”, “Owner”, and “Duration”). I bold my header, and I recommend you do the same. Now fill out the table to match mine.

How to create an agenda
Figure 3

Now that the Agenda table is complete, let’s finish with the Note section. First, let’s create a heading for the Notes section. In my example above, I just bolded the default text, but you may want to make the style match the “Agenda” heading (16 pt. bold Clibri).

In the body of the Notes section, we basically want to duplicate the items in the “Agenda Items” column of the Agenda table. A simple copy paste will not work; the table formating is pasted too, and that’s not what you want in the Notes section.

In order to copy and paste only the text, I’ll use MS-Notepad to strip the table formatting. I’ll explain how.

  1. Hover near the top border of the table, above the “Agenda Items” column until you see the down arrow.
  2. With the down arrow showing, press your right mouse button and select copy, to copy the contents of the column to your clipboard.
  3. Open MS-Notepad and paste the contents into the MS-notepad window.
  4. Delete the text that says “Agenda Items” since that’s not actually an agenda topic.
  5. Copy the rest and then paste it under the Notes section on your OneNote page.

I like to put an extra line or two between each item in the Notes section so that I’m even more ready to type content when the meeting starts. In fact, I even add a tab to the line below the agenda item so that when I start typing, the content is already indented.

Remember to leverage work where you can. If you have standing meetings, there is typically much content that can be re-used. Consider copying parts of the page from previous meetings to the page of your current meeting, and edit only the parts that require change. OneNote is great about allowing you to copy tables or parts of tables from one page to another.

In future posts, I’ll share some productivity tools/tips to help you quickly convert the Attendee names to a single column of names, and to calculate the start time column automatically. In future posts, I will also share practices for note taking, so stick around.

Agendas vary greatly depending on the length of the meeting, the size of the group, and the degree of formality. Here are some general guidelines to consider when preparing an agenda for a typical faculty committee or department meeting.

  1. Keep the agenda as short and simple as possible, preferably no more than a single page.
  2. Put the date, time, and location of the meeting at the top of the agenda.
  3. State the goals of meeting in two or three brief sentences at the top of the page.
  4. Sequence events in a logical flow from information sharing to discussion to decision-making.
  5. Sequence events to provide a feeling of accomplishment and momentum as early as possible.
  6. Anticipate the group’s energy level and tackle difficult tasks when energy is high and positive.
  7. Assign a time to each major item and indicate on the agenda who is responsible.
  8. When possible, distribute the agenda in advance.
  9. At the beginning of the meeting, check with the group to see whether other agenda items need to be added.

For larger more formal groups that meet relatively infrequently (e.g., monthly or quarterly), consider the following additional steps:

  1. Have an agenda committee comprising a representative sample of the group decide which issues need to be raised at the meeting.
  2. Send a draft agenda to all attendees and invite them to suggest additional items.

To make the right decision, the board of directors needs to have information on the issues on the agenda. This article is a guide on how to create a productive agenda for a board meeting.

What is an agenda?

The board meeting implies a discussion on the exchange of ideas, opinions, between the management. The priority goal of the meeting is to increase the efficiency of the work process for the entire company as a whole, and an individual employee in particular. The stages of the meeting will include all the main nuances of the meeting, such as the correct choice of the topic, the formation of the schedule, coverage of the problem field, the correct informing of colleagues, etc. To make the board meeting more productive and well-organized, an agenda should be formed.

An agenda helps you steer your meeting in the right direction so that everyone understands each topic on the list and knows when to bring their thoughts or ideas to the table. The most important thing is that you know what type of meeting it is, who needs to attend, and what topics of discussion may arise during the time together.

The agenda items are listed based on their priority so that it is clear in which order they should be processed. In addition, the duration of the topic and who is responsible should also be included. If additional information is required, appropriate references or attachments should be included in the agenda.

Tips on how to create a good agenda

Nobody likes drawn-out aimless meetings. If you need to write an agenda, then try not to allow such a development of events. The plan of the board meeting should be clear and specific. The questions must be formulated in such a way that it is possible to give an unambiguous answer to the “For”, “Against” or “Abstained”.

So, there are basic tips on how to make an effective board meeting agenda:

  • Create a clear plan. In the best-case scenario, the goal of the meeting is visible and understandable for everyone involved in the title. Otherwise, you can list it separately in the header of the agenda. The remaining content depends on the type of your meeting and the results that are to be achieved. For example, a popular strategy is to create an agenda with all the relevant topics. Each topic has its top and can be broken down into sub-items if necessary.
  • Set the time and place. When preparing for a meeting, there is almost nothing more important than the date and, most importantly, the location. First, decide on an appointment and make sure that all important participants are available on that day and not on vacation or have other commitments. Once the date has been set, you should find a suitable room as soon as possible before inviting to the meeting.
  • Less is more. When planning, one is often tempted to fit as many program items as possible into one appointment. However, an efficient meeting is only possible if you don’t get lost in the details but can concentrate on the most important points. You should therefore try not to include more than 5 items on the agenda in a meeting.
  • Use meeting agenda programs. As you prepare for your meeting, it may be worth taking a look at specific programs that can help you create an agenda. Mind mapping tools such as XMind are helpful, for example, with which you can organize your ideas for the event and work out important points.

What is an Agenda Slide?

An agenda slide is like a table of contents that contains a list of topics that will be discussed in a presentation or meeting. The topics are usually linked to the corresponding sections through hyperlinks so the users can quickly jump to the slide they want by simply clicking on the topic.

How to create an agenda

There are different types of agenda slides. The topics can be listed vertically or horizontally, and different levels of detail and types of information can be included.

For example, some agenda slides only list the title and subtitle of each topic, while others also provide an overview or takeaways. Agenda slides for forums may also include the start and end time as well as the speaker of each session.


  • An agenda slide is the table of contents for a presentation, containing a list of topics that will be discussed.
  • It usually contains the section and subsection titles and sometimes the start and end time and the speaker of each section.
  • An agenda slide gives the audience a primer of how the presentation or meeting is planned and what topics will be discussed; it also helps the speaker to structure the presentation.

Why Do You Need an Agenda Slide?

An agenda slide is not always required, but it is a useful primer that gives the audience basic knowledge about how the presentation is structured and what topics will be discussed. Especially when the presentation is long and covers a wide scope, an agenda slide gives the audience an idea about the interesting topics that will come up and prevents the audience from getting lost in the middle of the presentation.

From a speaker’s perspective, preparing the agenda slide is a good practice to structure the presentation. The speaker will need to consider the information they want to convey in each slide and whether it supports the topic and the main thesis.

Through this practice, the speaker will be able to get rid of unnecessary or less informative content and communicate information with the audience more efficiently.

Steps to Create an Agenda Slide

The agenda slide of a presentation can be created before the rest of the content is ready, serving as an outline that the speaker can follow to structure the presentation. It can also be done in the final step as a summary of the topics and takeaways.

A well-designed agenda slide will provide the proper amount of information. If the slide contains too many details and subsections, it may dampen the audience’s interest.

Microsoft PowerPoint provides agenda slide templates where you can easily type in the content. You can also create your own slide with a few simple steps.

1. Insert text boxes and type in the title and content

Instead of a plain text box, you can insert a “SmartArt” graphic under the “Insert” tab. It provides a set of well-formatted text boxes and shapes that can show the process flow, relationships, hierarchy, and so on of a group of items. It is suggested to use the “List” type for agenda slides.

2. Add visual designs

The agenda slide is typically the first slide that the audience sees after the cover page, so it is important to make the slide eye-catching. It can be done by inserting a background picture and using icons and shapes in the topic list panel.

3. Add hyperlinks

Hyperlinks allow the user to navigate to the relevant slide by simply clicking on the topic while in presentation mode. To insert a hyperlink, you right-click the selected text and choose “Hyperlink.” A dialog box will then appear, and you can go to the “This Document” tab and choose the page that you would like to link to.

How to create an agenda

More Resources

In order to help you become a world-class financial analyst and advance your career to your fullest potential, these additional resources will be very helpful:

  • PowerPoint Shortcut Keys PowerPoint Shortcut Keys PowerPoint shortcut keys help users to use the functions of PowerPoint with more efficiency. Much like Excel shortcut keys, they allow users to keep hands on the keyboard and do tasks faster.
  • Public Speaking Public Speaking Public speaking, also called oratory or oration, is the process of communicating information to a live audience. The type of information communicated is deliberately structured to inform, persuade, and entertain. Great public speaking consists of three components: Style: Masterfully constructed by using words to create
  • Focus Group Focus Group A focus group consists of a group of individuals who are asked questions about their opinions and attitudes towards certain products, services, or concepts.
  • Excel Shortcut Keys Excel Shortcut Keys Excel shortcut keys come in handy to maneuver through Excel much faster and more efficiently. In fact, using shortcut keys is much quicker than using a mouse. Two common examples of these shortcuts are ones that allow.

How do you present an agenda in PowerPoint?

Start PowerPoint and open the presentation to which you want to add an agenda. Select the “View” tab. Click “Slide Sorter” in the Presentation Views group. Click the “New Slide” button in the Slides group of the Home tab and choose “Title and Content.” Drag the new, blank slide to the beginning of the presentation.

How do you start a presentation agenda?

Stating your purpose/objective The purpose/objective/aim of this presentation is to… Today I’d like to give you an overview of… I’d like to update you on/inform you about/put you in the picture about/give you the background to/present the results of my research… During the next 20 minutes we’ll be…

How do you make a good agenda slide?


  1. Create a new slide with the Bulleted List layout.
  2. Enter a title (such as Agenda) and type bullet items to describe each of the sections–each of the custom shows–in your presentation (Figure 5).
  3. Select all the text in a bulleted item.
  4. Choose Slide Show > Action Settings.

How do you present an agenda for a meeting?

How to write a meeting agenda

  1. Identify the meeting’s goals.
  2. Ask participants for input.
  3. List the questions you want to address.
  4. Identify the purpose of each task.
  5. Estimate the amount of time to spend on each topic.
  6. Identify who leads each topic.
  7. End each meeting with a review.

How do you write an agenda for a meeting?

How to write a meeting agenda

  1. Identify the meeting’s goal.
  2. Seek input from the participants.
  3. Prepare the list of questions that you want to address.
  4. Determine the goal of each task.
  5. Calculate how much time you will spend on each task.
  6. Attach documents.
  7. Identify who leads each topic.
  8. End each meeting with a review.

How do you write a meeting agenda?

Should you have an agenda slide?

Not all presentations require an agenda slide. If you’re presenting a story, you don’t need an agenda slide. Business and other formal presentations should have this slide. If you’re conducting a Q&A session in the end, mentioning it in your agenda slide can help your audience.

How do you introduce an agenda for a meeting?

The Right Way to Start a Meeting

How to create an agenda

  1. Make the purpose of the meeting clear.
  2. Be specific about the purpose of each agenda item.
  3. Ask people to filter their contributions.
  4. Reiterate any important ground rules.
  5. Head off passive-aggressive behavior.
  6. Decide whether to roundtable.

What is agenda in a meeting?

A meeting agenda is a list of activities that participants are hoping to accomplish during their meeting. It sets clear expectations for what needs to occur before and during a meeting. It keeps the participants focused on the topic at hand. It sets the pace of the meeting.

Last Updated On March 20, 2020 By Letter Writing

A document that contains information that is necessary for the planning and the execution of a study of research is known as research agenda.

This is a document that can help researchers identify their tasks that need to be prioritized according to the phase of the research they are presently at.

Besides, it also allows them to follow their particular research pattern. Moreover, it will be helpful for them to achieve the accurate results that they have been looking for. The research agenda becomes the guiding force for researchers eventually to achieve their objectives.

Research agendas are similar to agendas of other types which are written for meetings by companies and organizations as well as individuals or groups of people. As it is considered as the guiding force for the research to progress, it is evident that the document must be created before the planned research begins.

Having the agenda at least a week before commencing the research will give the researchers a timeline to begin preparing for the job and complete the study needed according to schedule.

The word research has acquired a different meaning in present-day times when the term is being used by just about everyone. Unlike in the past when the word was exclusively used by researchers in the field of science drastic changes are currently being seen when given a school going child speaks about researching the Internet for any information he or she needs.

Similarly, some organizations are also using the term according to their individual needs, but the common principle among the agendas remains the same, and that is to provide the researcher information about the things they need to accomplish along with their team.

It usually provides information about the initial steps which need to be followed to ensure that the study being conducted can provide efficient results or specify any underlying problems which may be present.

The research agenda is always written for individuals who will be the core members of the research team. The agenda can also be passed over to other members of the team, but the primary recipient of the document is always the team leader because he or she is held responsible for conducting and providing the results of the research appropriately.

Table of Contents

Points to consider while drafting Research Agendas

  • The kind of study that the researcher is required to undertake must be provided on the agenda.
  • The information becomes useful for the researcher accurately to prioritize the main items of the research.
  • The research agenda must consider any variables that are needed during the research. Identifying the processes of the research, the methodologies for collecting the data, the community where the research will be applied along with the information analysis which will be used may also be mentioned.
  • The details within the document must be organized to ensure that an effective research agenda is provided to the individual who is responsible for the same.

Individuals creating the agenda can include any tips specifically related to the institution they are representing or information that they may have collected from experience. That cannot be any set rules for creating the research agenda, and some degree of flexibility needs to be incorporated as per individual needs.

Example of Research Agenda 1

Basic Education Research Agenda

Department Of Education
Department Order Number 61 Of 2018.
Adoption of The Basic Education Research Agenda

[To Names And Departments Of the Addressees]

1. The Department of Education selects the elementary education analysis schedule which is included and provides direction to the department and its stakeholders in the conduct of education research and the utilization of the results of the research to inform the departments planning, program and policy development aligned with its core values, mission, and vision.
2. The research agenda will be building on gains from research that exists, generate fresh knowledge on prioritized research areas and focus the attention of the department on relevant issues related to education to maximize resources that are available for ongoing research from within and beyond the department.
3. All orders of the department other than related issues, rules and regulations or provisions that are inconsistent with this policy are at this moment repealed, modified or rescinded with immediate effect.
4. Strict compliance of disorder and immediate decimation is directed.

[Signature of the authorized signatory]
[name of the authorized signatory].

Example of Research Agenda 2

Hero Research Meeting Agenda

7 AM — networking breakfast arranged the organization.
8 AM — welcome and opening remarks by the CEO and president of the organization.
8:15 AM — research agenda and updates by the vice president of the organization.
8:45 AM — the value of a well-being approach presented by the research director.
9:45 AM — networking break.
10 AM — small group discussion before reporting back.
10:45 AM — update on recent industry research.
11:30 AM — culture health study committee update.
12 PM — networking lunch
1 PM — reconvene meeting with vice president of research of the organization.
1:15 PM — healthy workplaces and healthy communities.
1:45 PM — networking break.
2 PM — experimental engagement: driving value and outcomes in the shifting employee landscape.
3 PM — small group discussion and reporting back.
3:45 PM — vote on the priorities of the organization.
4 PM — meeting agenda meant by the president of the organization.


The individual creating the research agenda must consider the individual requirements of the research which is being planned and create an agenda that is suitable for the same. He or she will need to hold consultations with the management who will undoubtedly be providing the instructions for the research to be conducted.

The research agenda can only be prepared after the responsible individual receives all the information about the data the institution is trying to recover by conducting the research.

How to create an agenda

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Is your audience getting lost during your big presentation? The issue might be in the clarity of your presentation agenda. Learn 5 creative ways to provide a clear and memorable agenda to your presentation.

Why should you have an agenda slide?

This slide answers the first question that pops up in the minds of your audience, which is – “What is this presentation about?”

When you have a clear agenda, you not only tell them what your presentation is about, but also tell them how you will cover the topics. Your audience needs this assurance right up front to stay with you for the rest of your presentation.

An agenda helps your audience to orient their thoughts at the opening. It makes your message memorable. When you don’t have an agenda slide, you leave your audience clueless.

The most important attribute of a clear agenda slide:

As humans, we always want to know our location and position. It is wired to our survival instinct. That is why big malls have maps, lifts have floor indicators and large parks have guides.

A good agenda slide serves as a guide post for your presentation. After you finish every point in the agenda, repeat the agenda slide to show your audience what is covered and what is left to be covered. Use your agenda slide to help your audience from getting lost in your sea of thoughts. Its also a great place to summarize the presentation. quickly.

Your agenda slide need not be dull and boring. Remember, the main objective of an agenda slide is to give your audience a big picture view. So, go ahead and be creative in using metaphors and analogies to orient them to your presentation. Here are some creative examples of presentation agenda.

Using a map to segment your presentation:

How to create an agenda

We’ve seen some boring sales report presentations brought to life by creative contextualization of data. The example you see above, explains the global sales performance by continents. The slide gives a clear picture of the order in which the data will be presented and the logic behind the order.

Using a representative image to set the mood for the presentation:

How to create an agenda

In this example, the gears not only give an overview of the three stage process, but also give the relative importance of each stage.

Using the actual picture of a product or process to orient the audience:

How to create an agenda

In this example, the presenter used the actual picture of the 4 bit counter to show how the content is chunked. This picture can serve as a memory hook for the rest of the presentation, as the presenter covers one segment after another.

Using a metaphor to set the context:

How to create an agenda

The presenter used the metaphor of an hour clock to take the audience through a timeline. The intelligent use of the image makes the audience understand how the various parts of the presentation are related.

Using symbols to reinforce the presentation agenda:

How to create an agenda

In this example, a traffic signal is used to highlight the importance of various tasks. Everyone knows the significance of the different colored lights in the signal. That common knowledge is transferred to the agenda slide to talk about the tasks that need to be stopped, continued and increased.

The above examples can set you thinking on how you can bring your agenda slides to life.

Caution in using an agenda:

To have an agenda and not to follow it in your presentation is seen as lack of professionalism. We’ve seen so many presenters make this mistake and leave the audience disappointed.

Remember, an agenda is a promise you make. By covering all the points in your presentation agenda, you fulfill that promise. It makes you look credible. You leave a strong cue in your audience’s mind that you have the discipline and commitment to follow through your promises.

One of my pet peeves is attending a “mystery meeting”. You know the type, vague subject line and no agenda. Maybe you get a brief sentence in the invite saying “let’s meet to discuss XYZ”. No agenda, no goal. Your meeting has no requirements! An effective agenda takes a few minutes to pull together yet is a meeting management tool that can save you endless minutes, hours even, and sets you up for success to facilitate an effective meeting.

Meeting Agenda Tip #1: Identify the Goal of the Meeting

If you do only one thing when planning a meeting, be very clear about the goal. “Discuss XYZ” is not a goal, it’s an activity. Most meetings seem to have implicit goals for the attendees to decide something. If so, state what decision is needed and, if possible, describe the next action someone can begin once that decision is made.

The next action really gives your goal credibility because you have a valid litmus test for whether or not the decision was made at the end of the meeting.

But not all meetings are called for decision-making. Sometimes the goal is to simply review a requirements document for feedback, generate ideas about a feature, or determine the effort associated with a specific requirement or project. Think clearly about your expected outcome for the meeting and write it out in your agenda.

Meeting Agenda Tip #2: Identify Meeting Topics

Once you’ve determined your outcome, list out the topics (a.k.a. agenda items) that will help you achieve that outcome, preferably as a bullet list.

For example, if your goal is to make decisions about how to assign resources among projects, you might first ask the business stakeholders what their current priorities are, review who is assigned to what, then negotiate adjustments. This list provides a clear progression toward the desired end state. If you are generating ideas about a feature, you might facilitate a quick ice breaker, followed by a structured brainstorming activity, and closed with a review of the ideas generated.

No matter what your goal, there are usually a few activities you can list to support it. When running the meeting, it will be important not to let these activities become goals in and of themselves. If you are engaged in an “agenda item” and it’s not helping you achieve your goal then it might be worth discarding on-the-fly. Likewise it can often make sense to slot in a new agenda item when it becomes clear it’s needed to achieve your goal. Honoring serendipity is prudent.

Meeting Agenda Tip #3: Prepare Deliverables

Whenever possible, prepare a requirements deliverable in advance and send it out with your meeting agenda, or at least prior to the meeting.

Here are some examples of deliverables you could create:

  • Scope Statement – to help clarify the business needs driving a project and the project scope.
  • Business Process Model – to articulate an as-is or to-be business process
  • Use Case – along with a corresponding wireframe, a use case documents software functionality and will help you get business and technical users on the same page about the requirements.
  • Data Models – to clarify business terminology, database requirements, and data flow between systems.
  • Business Analysis Plan – to identify your business analysis process approach, what stakeholders you need involved when, and gain buy-in on their involvement.

>>Get My Meeting Agenda Template

The BA Template Toolkit includes a meeting agenda template, along with templates for capturing meeting notes and 10 other common BA specifications such as a scope statement, business process model, use case, business analysis plan, and a few data models – so you don’t have to start from scratch.

By Wayne Turmel

Updated on: March 1, 2011 / 2:10 PM / MoneyWatch

You know all the complaints about meetings, particularly online. All together now. too long, off topic, boring, no leadership. the list is endless. Here’s the thing: it’s largely avoidable, and we know it. The one factor in almost all successful meetings is a good agenda. Here are some guidelines for creating an agenda that not only works–there’s a pretty good chance you’ll actually use it.

A good agenda is not brain surgery, so why don’t we do use them more often? Usually it’s because it takes time to create and send them and we’re always in a rush. By creating a template, either online or in your email platform, you can pause, breathe, fill in the blanks, and give you and your team a fighting chance at success (or at least lessening the pain and misery).

What goes into a good agenda? It should answer the questions your attendees need to know in order to make the best use of your time together:

Meeting logistics: The agenda should be the one place people know to reference for all the answers to their questions. Don’t assume because you use the same information all the time that they’ll automatically know it.

  • What time it’s going to start (and finish). If your system allows you to easily enter this into people’s calendars, take advantage of that and reduce the possible excuses for arriving late and leaving early.
  • How will you meet? If it’s a web meeting, include ALL relevant information with live links (url for the meeting, audio information). Again, eliminate any possible questions by providing the information up front. (Remember, in a template you can just leave the information that doesn’t change and update the stuff that does instead of reinventing the wheel every time).
  • Online meetings should contain a notice to log on a few minutes early, and how to test their system for compatibility. Most web platforms build this in to their invitations automatically. Insist people actually do it.

Purpose of the meeting with desired outcomes: People cannot be prepared to participate fully if they don’t know what’s going to be covered. They’ll also be less paranoid, which can only be a good thing. If they are expected to make a decision they should know that so they’re in the right frame of mind. If it’s a brainstorming session, they need to know they’ll be called on for input. Tell them what’s on the table–and what’s not on the agenda so don’t bother bringing it up– if you want them to comply.

Attendees and their roles: Who is going to be on the meeting? What will they be doing? Give people fair notice and then hold them accountable. Include email addresses, if it’s appropriate, so that people can provide input or answer questions in advance of the session. This will save time spent on minor issues.

What they need to read/prepare/do in advance and how to find and share that information: This is an area where meeting leaders are guilty of laziness and it bites them in terms of getting meetings started well and wasting too much time. Don’t wait til the meeting starts to email that spreadsheet- and don’t baby people who email you ten minutes before the meeting starts asking for it (because they either deleted it or saved it somewhere and can’t remember where). Have live links to all documents on the shared file site or intranet and insist people get those documents for themselves. Check to make sure they have them before the meeting starts so you don’t kill momentum by waiting til people look for them.

If this all seems too simple, ask yourself what the most common meeting problems are. People arriving late, not knowing (or caring) what the meeting is designed to achieve, not being prepared to get down to business, having the wrong people in the meeting to achieve your outcomes, and not being held accountable for meeting success.

Eliminating the variables is important. So’s holding people accountable. The best way to do that is to slow down, use a tool like this, and make it part of every meeting so that it’s a seamless part of your leadership process.

Read more:

First published on March 2, 2011 / 6:45 AM

© 2011 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

by UW alumni Justin Reedy, Ph.D., Communication, and Madhavi Murty, Ph.D., Communication, in conversation with UW graduate students

Creating a research agenda should be a major goal for all graduate students—regardless of theoretical interests, methodological preferences, or career aspirations. A research agenda helps you orient yourself toward both short- and long-term goals; it will guide your selection of classes, help you decide which academic conferences (and within those, which specific divisions) to engage in, and steer you in recruiting mentors and research collaborators.

What is a research agenda? It’s a plan and a focus on issues and ideas in a subset of your field. You cannot study everything in your field during your time in graduate school, so decide what to focus on now, and what to defer until another day.

Research agendas are not set in concrete; they naturally change over time as your knowledge grows and as new research questions emerge.

Don’t be intimidated. Many students may start a graduate program with only a few ideas of areas they would like to study, or perhaps a few general research questions. Graduate courses, conversations with faculty and fellow students, and time spent reading the literature in the field can help you start to form a research agenda out of those ideas or research questions.

How to get started

  • Talk with faculty members about your general interests. Use faculty as a resource to find out which topics are over-studied and where additional work is needed.
  • If there are students with similar or overlapping interests, get their perspectives as well.
  • Read a great deal, even in the early weeks of your graduate work. Be open to reading research outside your immediate areas of interests and seeing how they link to your own areas.
  • Ask faculty for reading lists or copies of syllabi. Such resources help you familiarize yourself with the research already done in areas that interest you. Be sure to follow up on citations that are interesting or intriguing.
  • Identify key authors relevant to your interests. Read their scholarship and understand the work that has informed their research.

Advancing your agenda


  • Identify courses that will help advance your research agenda—both in terms of specific knowledge about the issues and relevant methods. Remember that the title of a class might not always fully describe it, so contact the professor to find out more about class content.
  • Look both inside and outside the department for classes—and look outside especially in your second year in the program. Graduate students in interdisciplinary fields, for example, may find very valuable classes in diverse departments.
  • Think specifically about the research questions you want to ask, and think about how you will answer them. Then pick courses to help you in reaching this goal.
  • Try to use class assignments to advance your research agenda. If possible, use each seminar paper as a way to focus on a specific part of your overall agenda —whether it be a literature review or a proposal for a study.
  • Don’t be afraid to take a chance on a course that seems somewhat outside of your agenda or your comfort zone. If the topics or research methods covered in the course draw your interest, you could find a way to incorporate those into your overarching research agenda.

Conference papers, colloquia, and research articles

  • Ask faculty members if they have research projects in which you can participate.
  • Work with more than one faculty member. Different faculty members provide different perspectives even if they are interested in the same concepts.
  • Talk to faculty and other graduate students about conferences you should attend (and conference paper deadlines). Use conference paper deadlines to pace your own research production.
  • Present your work at conferences, listen to others’ ideas, and solicit feedback on your research.
  • Consider working towards the publication of your papers. With enough feedback and guidance from faculty, fellow graduate students, and colleagues in the field, what starts out as a seminar or conference paper could turn into a journal article or book chapter.
  • Attend talks and colloquia on campus—both inside and outside your department. These talks can help you generate research ideas and help you see your research in a new light.
  • Recruit others to work with you on projects. Student collaborations are especially fruitful when the constituent members have similar interests, but bring different yet complementary perspectives and skills to the endeavor.

Be active: Be a part of the conversation in your field!

How to Present a Best Agenda of a Presentation or Speech

Most people won’t attend a meeting unless they know the agenda. I know I want, and when is the best time to introduce an agenda? The most effective way is actually well before your presentation. You must have a strong opening in your agenda and not commit any mistake in opening. Click four common mistakes in presentation to handle your common mistakes.

Your agenda needs to have the following contents:

  • Purpose

Your agenda needs to have the purpose of the presentation.

  • Topic

What will be discussed.

  • Participants

Who will be participating.

  • Length

How long will it last.

For most business meetings and presentations, make sure your audience has this agenda in writing before you present. For this article you saw the title and link of the article, before you decide to view it, indeed, that’s the agenda.
You already know what topic I am discussing in this article, the learning object and the link of the article. If I started this article by saying: in this article I cover how to introduce an agenda, that would be redundant. I disclosing your attention and interest almost immediately.
In most cases if your audience can see a written agenda before your presentation, then you don’t need to introduce it. You can simply refer to it during your presentation to help keep everyone on track.
During the presentation, it’s always a good idea to briefly remind your audience about where are you going, this is where the teaser approach works well.

Teaser Approach

The goal of teaser is to build interest into upcoming agenda items. You do this by giving audience a little bit information that makes them want to know more. For example, you might say: We have some exciting news from our administrator of the academy, which I will share with you.
Make sure your audience knows the overall agenda before you are giving a presentation. Provide them with key details in writing, then look for opportunities within presentation to tell your audience, what they have to look forward to. Use the teaser approach to keep your audience alert and interested.

Designing an Effective Meeting Agenda That Works (+ Free Downloads)

The meeting agenda is the soul of every meeting. A well-defined meeting agenda template sets the tone of the meeting and determines its success.

An effective agenda should set clear expectations for the meeting and should enable the participants to prepare for a productive meeting. The organizers and the participants must be able to gauge how intensive or how long the meeting will be from the list of topics to be discussed.

  • How to Write and Design a Meeting Agenda Part 1
  • Meeting Agenda Templates: Free Download Part 2
  • Additional Resources Part 3
  • How to Dramatically Reduce Time You Spend Creating Reports Part 4

Here are some tips on how to effectively design a meeting agenda:

Provide a title for the agenda.

It should tell the participants what the meeting will be about. Clearly indicate key information such as the date, time, and venue of the meeting. Do not forget to include the names of the expected attendees and if there are special guests or resource speakers who will attend the meeting.

Provide a brief statement about the objective of the meeting.

It should give an overview of what the meeting will cover without going into specific agenda items.

Present a schedule of the essential components of the meeting.

This is the most important part of a meeting agenda as this will keep the group aligned with the objective of the meeting, and prevent the discussions from getting out of hand. For each item of the program, the time at each item should be discussed or its allocated length of time should be indicated.

Provide an outline of the meeting agenda topics to be discussed.

While the schedule is the core part of the meeting agenda, providing an overview of the topics for discussion will help the participants to prepare for the meeting.

List the points as questions that the team needs to answer.

Avoid using vague terms. By stating it in question form, the participants will understand the purpose of the discussion. For example, consider an agenda item of simply ‘Company Anniversary.’ This is extremely open and it will leave the participants wondering what it is about the company anniversary that will be discussed. If we state it this way, “What preparations should be made for the company anniversary?” or “Who shall form the anniversary committee?”; the participants will be able to think about it, and they will come in prepared and excited for the meeting.

Make sure to check the agenda for errors before sending it to the attendees of the meeting. The agenda should be sent out to the participants at least a week to three days before the actual day of the meeting. Sending it ahead of time will ensure that the attendees will have sufficient time to prepare for the meeting.

Staff Meeting Agenda Template: Free Download

How to create an agendaHow to create an agenda

How to create an agendaHow to create an agenda

How to create an agenda

How to create an agenda

Templates on ProsperForms:

How to create an agenda

How to create an agenda

How to create an agenda

How to create an agenda

How to create an agenda

Additional Sources

  1. How to Create a Meeting Agenda + Free Template Download
  2. How to Create a Staff Meeting Template + Free Download
  3. How to Create a Productive One On One Meeting Template + Free Download

ProsperForms is a cloud solution to dramatically reduce the time you spend creating reports

  1. Make reporting easier with auto-fill: Fields such as date, name, report type, and formatting are inserted automatically by software.
  2. Consolidate reports automatically: Reports created by your team members can beВ consolidatedВ easily.
  3. Save time with auto-layout: No need to spend hours in Word or Excel perfecting the report’s layout because it exports your updates into a beautifully crafted file with a couple of clicks.
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How to configure reports on ProsperForms:

Step 3 (Optional): Generate a report and export it to PDF. (Skip this step if you share status reports online and don’t print them.)

Click “Generate Report”.

How to create an agenda

Meetings, meetings, and more meetings. Between recurring team syncs, planning meetings, brainstorms, and project check-ins, it probably feels like your calendar is overflowing with meetings. Which it probably is.

If meetings are taking up so much of your time, you must be getting a lot out of them—whether you’re leading them or participating in them—right? Unfortunately, most meetings are destined to fail. The end goal isn’t clear (or even identified), there’s no agenda to guide the meeting, and people walk out with more questions than answers. Employees want to be productive and feel like they’re spending their time on things that matter—but when meetings lack structure, they feel ineffective and like a waste of time.

Since there are only so many hours in the (work) day, here is an easy-to-follow process for running effective meetings so everyone walks in knowing what to discuss and walks out knowing next steps.

It’s prep time: Create and share your meeting agenda

1. Identify the purpose and goal of the meeting

Before you even begin checking people’s calendars, ask yourself, “what do we need to accomplish in this meeting?” If it’s a recurring meeting, this will help you determine how often you need to meet as well. If you’re scheduling a planning session, for example, the purpose could be to identify the key milestones for your team’s yearly objectives, and the goal could be to determine deadlines and who’s responsible for each milestone. Once you’ve locked down the purpose and goal, then you can start working your scheduling magic.

2. What to include in your meeting agenda

Now that you know why you’re having the meeting, it’s time to create an agenda that will keep the discussion on track. While it’s tempting to quickly scribble it down on a post-it right before the meeting, preparing your agenda ahead of time will ensure you prioritize the right things and don’t forget something important.

Start by outlining the themes you want to focus on in the meeting. For your annual planning meeting, this could be discussing results, brainstorming, and action items to move planning forward. To help keep everything (and everyone) on track, assign time blocks to each topic so you get to everything you need to discuss.

How to create an agenda

3. Add discussion topics

Now it’s time to add the meat… errr, topics you want to discuss. Add these to the appropriate agenda section so you discuss them at the right time during the meeting. The more detailed you are about what you’d specifically like to discuss, the better.

If you create your agenda in the tool where you’re tracking your work, it’ll be easy to add existing work or link to relevant tasks so everyone has the context they need—and you won’t have to do extra work.

“We’ve been taking conscious steps toward running meetings more effectively and becoming more productive, and Asana is proving to be an important ingredient in pushing that initiative forward.”
– Rey Fernández, Vice President & General Manager, Manhattan Prep

4. Share the agenda with attendees before the meeting

To get straight down to business, share the agenda with attendees in advance. If it’s ready and you can include it in the meeting invite, even better. This way, attendees will have time to familiarize themselves with discussion topics, prepare any info that will be needed, or ask clarifying questions before the meeting. Also, this gives others a chance to add or suggest topics if something’s missing.

Let’s begin: Stick to the agenda and capture action items as you go

5. Assign a note taker

Your notes will serve as the written record of your discussion, decisions, and next steps. They’re also helpful for people who were unable to attend a meeting (calendar conflicts are real), but need to know what happened. So before the meeting gets underway, assign a note taker that is ideally taking them in the same tool as your agenda and work. This way, when people need to reference decisions about milestones and projects that came out of your planning meeting, they’ll know exactly where to look.

6. Work through standing agenda items & discussion topics

Now is the time to encourage participation as you go through each topic. Hopefully, people will come prepared with information, thoughts, and questions since they’re familiar with the agenda (because you shared it ahead of time :wink:). You want your teammates to feel like their voice matters, plus great ideas arise when people are able to freely bounce ideas off of each other. And since there’s structure, your discussion will stay focused as you go from one topic to the next.

7. Assign action items as you go

Track and assign follow-up and action items as they come up instead of waiting until the end. Don’t forget to include due dates for action items as well—this will keep teammates accountable and make expectations clear. And it’s best to track these in your agenda (like in the agenda template above) so teammates can reference the meeting notes for context.

How to create an agenda

Meeting adjourned

Once you wrap up your meeting, you won’t need to waste time sending out the notes or assigning action items—they will already be done. And while it takes a bit of time upfront to prepare for your meeting, the benefit of hosting a productive and effective meeting is (almost) priceless. With a clear purpose, agenda, and actionable discussion, everyone will walk in knowing what to discuss and walk out knowing what’s next. And you’ll be a meeting superstar.

Learn how Asana can help you deliver a great employee experience by running all of your cross-functional programs and activities better.

Special thanks to Jenny Thai and Jessie Beck

A DIY Project to Keep Yourself Organized and on Task

How to create an agenda

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How to create an agenda

The Spruce / Ana Cadena

Finding a personal planner you love can be difficult. Even if you know exactly which features you need to organize your life, you might not be able to find a ready-made model that’s a good fit. But you still can have the perfect planner if you create it yourself. A DIY planner can reflect your personal style, be customized for your schedule, and help you get organized and accomplish what you need to do. When designing a personal planner, the possibilities are nearly endless to individualize it to your liking.

Here are some tips for how to make a DIY planner.

Customize an Existing System

One easy way to customize a planner is to go with a system that’s designed to let you build your own. Three such options are Martha Stewart’s Discbound, the M. by Staples Arc System, and Levenger’s Circa. Each of these planners has the same disc binding, but they offer different aesthetics and customization options.

A customizable planner lets you mix and match the components you want and leave out those you don’t need. Plus, if you purchase a special hole-punch and additional discs, you can print your own pages or add other documents to your planner.

How to create an agenda

Use Printables

Many sellers provide loose calendar pages and other papers for organization that are designed as nicely as those in fancy preassembled planners. Some of these pages are even free. For example, IHeart Organizing offers free printable daily schedule pages, blank task pages, and other helpful organization tools.

With printables, you download and print the pages yourself. And because you’re picking the paper, your choices of color and quality are far wider than they would be with a prefabricated planner. You can also bind them however you’d like. For example, hole-punch the pages and add them to a binder, or have them bound at a copy shop. Moreover, if you like the scheduling function of planner pages but don’t want to lug around a heavy book, you can choose only to print pages for the current month or whatever meets your needs.

How to create an agenda

Cut and Paste

If you enjoy getting a bit crafty, cutting and pasting together parts of two or more existing planners will give you lots of options. This is a good option if what you want in a planner is relatively common, but you just can’t find it in a single planner.

This also doesn’t have to be an expensive option despite using more than one item. For instance, it’s possible that all you really need in a planner is a blank notebook with month-at-a-glance calendar pages throughout. If so, purchase a basic affordable planner. Then, cut and paste the pages you need from it into a pretty notebook to get an instant custom design that helps to keep you on task.

How to create an agenda

Make Your Own Pages

If you can envision exactly what you want in terms of layout and text, you can start with a blank book, a ruler, and a pen. Then, simply draw what you need for your planner. Or you can use a template (or your computer skills) to design your own pages and print them out.

A similar option is to use a blank journal to derive your own method for keeping track of your daily activities. If that seems daunting, let someone else’s method inspire yours. For example, the Bullet Journal started as one man’s daily routine and grew into a system others loved, too.

How to create an agenda

Get Creative

If you find many different planner options acceptable in terms of layout but you want something more unusual or attractive, you can always personalize a plain planner. Use colored writing utensils, stickers, patterned tape, and more to add some creativity to your planner.

Most craft stores are full of the tools you need to turn a boring calendar or blank page into your own unique creation. For ideas, look to the legions of people who document their dedication to planner decoration on social media.

Deanna Ritchie

Monday, November 18th, 2019

With a variety of online calendar at your fingertips, creating a calendar using a spreadsheet seems not only antiquated but also a lengthy endeavor. After all, can’t your current calendar be used for whatever’s going on in your life? In most cases, this is true. But, there are always exceptions.

Using a spreadsheet is ideal if you require a more customized view for specific activities. For example, you can use this type of calendar for creating an employee schedule, timesheet, content calendar, fiscal year, or whatever else your heart desires.

Moreover, spreadsheets can be customized however you like. It can be something as simple as selecting the timeframe, such as a monthly or yearly calendar, to something more complex like its design.

Up until 2006, you most likely had to use Excel when creating a spreadsheet-based calendar. However, as a part of the Google Docs Suite, you have a much-improved upon option called Google Sheets. If you haven’t tried it out yet, here’s why you might want to give it a spin.

  • Google Sheets is 100% free and comes together with Drive, Docs, and Slides. As you know, this makes sharing and collaborating with others a breeze.
  • It can be accessed from anywhere — even your Android or iOS devices.
  • You can automatically collect and insert data from several online sources.
  • Some add-ons and templates make creating a Google Sheet event easier. Or, if you have the skills, you can design your own code.
  • And, if you already know the basics of Excel, there isn’t much of a learning curve since the functions are similar.

And, it’s pretty straightforward to create a calendar in Google Sheets. If you want to know how, then here’s a step by step guide to get you on your way.

Step 1

The first thing you have to go is head over to your Google Drive. You can go directly there by visiting Or, if you’re in Gmail, click on the Google apps icon in the top right corner of the page. Of course, you can only do this if you have an account. If you don’t have an account, go ahead and sign-up, it’s free.

Step 2

When in Drive, select New. You’ll see Google Sheets appear in the pop-up. When you scroll over this option, you’ll see that you can choose between a blank spreadsheet or template. For the time being, select the blank spreadsheet.

Step 3

You should now have a beautiful blank spreadsheet on your screen. Retitle it to whatever the calendar is going to be used for.

To rename the calendar, click on Untitled spreadsheet and type in the new title.

Step 4

Now it’s time to fill in your calendar. You can start in any cell and insert whatever information you like. But I recommend that you begin at B3. It’s not because of the appearance. Instead, because of Google Sheets formulas, you end up saving a ton of time creating your calendar.

So, go ahead and insert Sunday, for example, into the B3 cell. Next, click on the cell and look for the blue rectangle at the bottom right corner. Highlight the bullseye looking icon and drag it over to the H3 cell. The action will automatically fill in the rest of the days of the week for you.

Step 5

Jump down to the B4 cell and enter the correct date. I wrote this in June 2019, so I’ll kick things off on June 2. If you’re online, Sheets will know which year it is automatically.

Here’s where things get cool. In the next cell, enter the following formula: =B4+1. If you notice, June 3 will appear. You can highlight that cell and click on the bullseye icon and drag it across for the remainder of the week. Sheets then insert the rest of the dates of the week.

Step 6

Skip a row and enter =B3. This will add Sunday to the sheet. You can then highlight that and drag it across to the H cell like you did the first time.

Step 7

In the cell beneath that, copy and paste =B4+7. As usual, drag that over to the appropriate cell.

Step 8

If you’re thinking that you have to keep doing this for the remainder of the calendar, you would be wrong. Simply highlight the days of the week, the dates, and a blank row from the 2nd set only — do not select the first set.

With these cells selected, grab the corner and pull down as far as you would like. Sheets with then fill out the rest of the cells with the day of the week and the correct dates.

Step 9

Finally, go ahead and customize your calendar. In the blank spaces, insert relevant information, such as task assignments or essential deadlines.

If you click on the blank rectangle found above row number 1 and to the left of Column A you can select all of the data in the sheet. It’s a quick way to make sure that everything is the same color, size, or font. But, you can also color-code your calendar or use different fonts for different weeks. Honestly, the sky is the limit.

If you need a little inspiration, I suggest you check out the content calendar created by Megan Minns. On the left side of the sheet, she created a calendar for each month. Making a calendar for each month means that the first row was the name of the month (January), the second the days of the week (Sunday to Saturday), and then the third to seventh were the dates. February would then begin in row nine and so forth.

The column next to the months are left blank, but in I is “events,” K “podcast title, L “CTA,” N “YouTube title, and O “URL.” The remaining columns are used for listing on what social channels the content is being promoted on and when.

To be honest. You can design your calendar in any way you see fit. Just follow Willy Wonka’s advice and follow your imagination. Personally, the best way to learn is to get in there and try it — it’s fun. Tinker around with Google Sheets and see what you can do. If you don’t like the changes you made, you can use the handy Undo button — it’s the arrow pointing towards the left under File.

Is There an Easier Way to Create a Calendar in Google Sheets?

Since we’re talking about the Big G here, of course, there are other options. The first is to use a template. If you recall, you can access these when going into Drive, scroll down to Google Sheets, and select From a template. Here you will find a wide range of premade calendar templates instead of making one from scratch.

Examples include a monthly budget, schedule, project tracker, travel planner, and invoice. The only thing that you have to do is input the dates you need for your specific calendar. Google Sheets will automatically change the rest of the calendar to the correct dates.

Also, if you use a tool like Zapier or, you can sync any events from your Google Calendar to Sheets in just a matter of seconds. Besides helping you fill out your calendar, every time a new row is added to Sheets, it will automatically create a new Google Calendar event.

I’ll be glad when it’s not so difficult to put images or little swirlies on a calendar in Google Sheets — and everywhere else.

By Jenny Thai Dec 27, 2017

How to create an agenda

Meetings are a fact of office life. And while they may not be everyone’s favorite part of the day, with a little bit of planning, it is possible to make them productive and worthwhile for you and your teammates. One meeting type in particular can even help people feel more engaged at work: the one on one meeting.

Unlike department meetings, planning meetings, or quick syncs where teams might discuss the most pressing issues of the day, week, or month, the one on one meeting agenda looks a little different. For managers and their reports, one on one meetings are dedicated time for connecting regularly on goals, building rapport, and most importantly, coaching and mentorship.

One on one meetings are dedicated time for connecting regularly, building rapport, and most importantly, coaching and mentorship.

The most effective 1:1s are those that are prepped ahead of time. But more often than not, work (about work) gets in the way of planning a meaningful one-on-one agenda, leading to wasted time deciding what to talk about or meandering discussions that don’t feel actionable. The good news is: planning a productive one-on-one meeting is easier than it seems.

Whether you’re a manager or a report, here are few simple ways to make the most of your one-on-ones.

Create a shared one on one meeting agenda

One of the reasons why 1:1 meetings can feel ineffective is that there isn’t a consistent, shared space for creating and tracking agenda items. Without a designated spot for planning your agenda ahead of time (and to refer to during the meeting itself), it’s easy to veer off course.

If, for instance, you’ve ever kicked off a 1:1 with a list of agenda items in your head, only to find yourself talking about cat memes 10 minutes later, you probably need a better way to prep for your 1:1 meetings.

Instead, create a shared 1:1 agenda for you and your report (or manager). This makes it easy for both of you to collaborate on what to discuss. In Asana, you can set up a private meeting project for this, but whatever tool you choose to use, make sure that it’s easily accessible and editable by both 1:1 participants.

“Now that I’m using Asana, my conversations and 1:1s are so much more productive because we have this shared space where we can collaborate.”

– Tim Wood, Head of Product, Patreon

Organize your 1:1 agenda

Once you’ve created a shared space for planning and tracking your one on one meeting agenda, the next step is to add some structure. The idea here is to define a couple of high-level themes to help you organize discussion topics from one meeting to the next. Depending on the needs and preferences of you and your report, you can organize your 1:1 agenda many different ways. For example, it might be helpful to group agenda items into the following categories:

  • Discuss this week
  • Revisit later
  • Roadblocks and wins
  • Goals
  • Action items

To do this in Asana, just create sections for each theme in your meeting project:

How to create an agenda

Organizing your one on one meeting agenda this way balances tactical conversations about project work with bigger picture discussions about how that work ladders up to overall company goals and objectives and, not to mention, individual career goals. As you meet week to week, team members come away with a clearer sense of what they’re working on—and why it matters as well.

Add agenda items as they come up

With a shared space for your agenda and a clear structure in place, now comes the fun (and easy) part: adding topics for discussion. As soon as you or your report think of a topic—whether it’s feedback on a recent presentation, a question about budgets, or a growth opportunity—add these items to your shared agenda. Be sure to include a brief description and attach any relevant files, so you don’t forget anything important.

Adding agenda items ahead of time lets manager and report reflect on important topics before discussing in person.

This will help you avoid the mad scramble to remember everything you wanted to discuss right before your meeting. Adding agenda items ahead of time also lets both you and your report prep and reflect on important topics before discussing in person.

What to talk about in 1:1s

If you’re unsure of what to talk about in your one-on-ones, remember that it’s a shared space for asking questions, getting feedback, and discussing long-term goals. Both manager and report should feel comfortable contributing to the agenda. Here, for example, are a few topics you could discuss in your next 1:1:

  • Weekly and monthly priorities
  • Feedback on any in-progress assignments
  • Checking in on team and company goals
  • Identifying and resolving any roadblocks
  • Celebrating successes and milestones
  • What worked well (and didn’t) on recent projects
  • Career goals and learning opportunities

Take notes and take action

Before your next 1:1, take some time to review whatever topics have been added to your shared agenda since your last meeting and prioritize discussion topics. As the meeting progresses, make sure someone is taking notes on what’s discussed and to document any action items that come up.

By clearly outlining next steps and who’s doing what (by when), you create a sense of accountability and help ensure that any follow-up items are completed in a timely fashion. If you’re using a project in Asana to track your one on one meetings, all you have to do is create and assign a task and move it to your “Action items” section.

1:1s that work for everyone

Regular one-on-one meetings are a critical ingredient to keeping employees happy, productive, and engaged. By creating a shared space for your agenda and adding a little structure, you and your team members are more likely to keep your 1:1s on track and have meaningful and actionable conversations.

Learn how Asana can help you deliver a great employee experience by running all of your cross-functional programs and activities better.

How to create an agenda

How to Make a Perfect Handout

A workshop is an educational hands-on program that is designed to help participants gain experience in a particular area or learn a new skill. In business, you may be required to run workshops for employees to learn new areas of the business or for customers to get experience using a new version of your product. Carefully develop the program for your workshop and write a workshop agenda that helps attendees get the most out of the event.

Keep the Goals in Mind When Writing the Workshop Agenda

When creating your workshop agenda, it’s critical to always keep the key goals of the program top of mind. This will help you to decide how much time to allot to specific activities and how to structure the different elements.

If you’re running a customer service conflict management workshop for employees, for example, the key goal of the workshop will be to ensure that each of the attendees is able to learn conflict management tips and techniques that they can apply when dealing with irate customers.

In this case, you’ll need to ensure that you give enough time for each employee to ask questions, present their day-to-day scenarios and practice applying conflict management techniques in group role-play settings.

Vary the Content of the Workshop

A program schedule for a workshop should include a diverse array of content. People learn in different ways, have different sets of social skills and require different kinds of interactive activities to apply their knowledge. If your workshop only includes one kind of content, such as a workbook, it may be difficult for all the attendees to meet the goals of the workshop.

For example, when running a workshop to help key customers learn how to use new features in your product, you can provide interactive workshop activities such as letting the customers actually get hands-on with the product. You can then vary the program by providing hard-copy handouts with the feature information, showing a video of the features in use and having a question-and-answer session. This helps all attendees to learn about the features in different ways and keeps them engaged throughout.

Don’t Schedule Every Minute

While a workshop agenda should be structured well so as not to waste any of the attendees’ time, it’s also important to leave some free space. If a session takes a few minutes longer than expected, the free time helps you to get back on track. Having some free time in between workshop sessions also gives attendees the opportunity to take breaks and mingle with one another.

Explain How to Use the Resources

Due to their educational and hands-on nature, many workshops provide attendees with resources they can bring back with them to their workplace or home to continue the learning experience. These resources are also a great reference when the attendees are utilizing the new skills and knowledge they learned in the workshop. Build time in your workshop agenda to review the resources you’re providing the attendees.

Help them understand how these resources can be used, when they can be used and what they will help the attendees learn. If you just hand out the resources at the end of the workshop without going over the materials, the attendees may gloss over the content or not know how to apply it to their daily lives.

For example, if your workshop introduces employees to a new procedure you’re instituting in the workplace, you can provide them with a step-by-step guide that details each action they need to take. Take time in your workshop to mention how important this resource is when applying their new skills. If they forget a step, they can easily turn to the handout to find the missing information. Recommend they keep the resource handy on their desks when completing the new procedure.

A meeting agenda is a vital element of a meeting and must be carefully prepared beforehand. It contains the topics for discussion during for the upcoming meeting. Having a clear agenda helps the participants to prepare for it. For more information about preparing a meeting agenda read this article.

An equally important element in the conduct of a meeting is the minutes of the meeting. The minutes form a written record of everything that was discussed during the meeting. A helpful article on preparing minutes of the meeting can be found here.

  • How to Write Agendas for 8 Types of Meetings: The Complete List Part 1
  • General Meeting Agenda Templates Part 2
  • Additional Sources Part 3
  • How to Spend Less Time on Meetings? Part 4

Now, let’s look at the different types of meetings being conducted and their agendas (click a link to open a relevant article, each article contains free agenda templates for a particular type of meeting):

  1. A project meeting is held on a periodic basis to monitor project development and discuss all issues which need to be addressed. Here’s a link to our article about project meetings + free agenda templates.
  2. A staff meeting provides an opportunity for the staff of a unit in an organization to sit down together and discuss matters of mutual concerns. Learn more aboutВ staff meetings + free templates here. Meanwhile, there is one moreВ article here which can serve as a reference in preparing a meeting agenda + free downloads.
  3. The one-on-one meeting is a meeting between a supervisor and his direct report. The purpose of a one-on-one meeting is to evaluate how the staff member is doing and to resolve any issues related to the performance of their work. OurВ article here discusses how to conduct a one-on-one meeting + agenda templates.
  4. A daily huddle is a brief meeting conducted before the start of a workday or a shift where the team leader or supervisor outlines the tasks for the day, ongoing promotions, and all other important matters that the staff members need to know in relation to their jobs and organization. Read more about theВ daily huddle here (includes free agenda templates).
  5. A team meeting is conducted between team members to resolve issues affecting their work and to update them with the latest information related to the project. Our article about team meetingsВ will help you effectively conduct a team meeting and contains free templates.
  6. A sales meeting is carried out to enhance communication within the sales team. Aside from monitoring the performance of the team and its members, it is also a venue to motivate team members, coach them, and to acknowledge their efforts. More tips on conducting sales meetings with agenda template can be found in this article.
  7. A leadership meeting is for the top officials of an organization. This is where they usually discuss important issues, business strategies, and other ways to improve the performance of the organization. Details aboutВ leadership meeting with free agenda samples can be found in this article.
  8. A status meeting is where the project team discusses the status of a project, and this is where they keep track of the issues and risks facing the project. Check the article here to learn more about status meetings and download free templates.

Meetings are usually held periodically. Weekly meetings are brief and are conducted to address recurring problems, while monthly meetings focus on monitoring performance targets.

General Meeting Agenda Templates: Free Download

If you need a general-purpose meeting agenda sample check these free downloads.
Read theВ best practices hereВ (on how to write a meeting agenda in general).

How to create an agenda

How to create an agendaHow to create an agenda

You can also use the following templates on ProsperForms:

How to create an agenda

How to create an agenda

How to create an agenda

How to create an agenda

How to create an agenda

Additional Sources

  1. How to Create a Meeting Agenda + Free Sample Download
  2. How to Create an Effective Monthly Meeting Agenda + Free Download

ProsperForms is a cloud solution to dramatically reduce the time you spend creating reports

  1. Make reporting easier with auto-fill: Fields such as date, name, report type, and formatting are inserted automatically by software.
  2. Consolidate reports automatically: Reports created by your team members can beВ consolidatedВ easily.
  3. Save time with auto-layout: No need to spend hours in Word or Excel perfecting the report’s layout because it exports your updates into a beautifully crafted file with a couple of clicks.
  4. Peace of mind with auto-reminders: No one forgets to submit their reports because ProsperForms automatically sends timely reminders according to the schedule you chose.
  5. Decrease time and effort spent on monthly, quarterly, and yearly reporting thanks to powerful filtering and export features.
  6. Quick sharing: Reports can be either – exported to files and printed, or sent by email;– shared with the manager online (in real time);– optionally shared online asВ team-wide status reports, i.e., all team members share their progress with each other toВ spend less time on meetings.

How to configure reports on ProsperForms:

Step 3 (Optional): Generate a report and export it to PDF. (Skip this step if you share status reports online and don’t print them.)

Click “Generate Report”.

How to create an agenda

School board meetings may run long, low-priority items can take precedence over more pressing topics or a lack of organization can inhibit productivity. Without proper planning and preparation through a well-organized agenda, board meetings can easily become derailed. Utilizing an agenda that functions as a tool of efficiency will make the most of your school board meeting. To create an effective agenda, you must take a few steps. These steps will be greatly impacted by whether or not your board follows the standard order of business (parliamentary procedure, like Robert’s Rules of Order).

1. Decide on the meeting structure

Before creating the agenda, address the main topics the board needs to prioritize at this meeting. This is a fundamental step to ensure that the meeting is efficient and productive. Maintain a list of topics that need to be covered by priority (pressing topics should be covered first). When low-priority items take precedence over more urgent issues, the meeting can run long and lose its effectiveness. There may be nothing more frustrating and draining than an exhaustive meeting where nothing pressing is actually addressed or accomplished.

Some agendas may list a start time for the meeting as a whole or for individual agenda items. Votes may be accepted to modify an agenda, but having suggested time parameters can allow for greater delegation and efficiency. Listing the meeting time or time limits for specific agenda items will give ample time for presenters to find ways to consolidate their oral reports. Just because a meeting is lengthy does not mean it is productive. Creating time limits for the agenda items or the meeting as a whole will help focus the group on the actual topics at hand, cultivating efficiency and productivity.

2. Topics will be presented by other administrators

Not only does this take some responsibility off the chair, but it creates ownership and buy-in for others. This also allows for more thorough data to be presented on the topic when administrators can assist with collecting research and information. Delegation of tasks and topics can be listed through the board portal. The portal can also allow for presenters to distribute links, documents and other pertinent information to their topic.

3. Confirm meeting details

BoardDocs has the capability to confirm and share meeting details, like date, time and location. In compliance with sunshine laws, all public meetings must be posted publicly (although it may vary by state regarding how long in advance the meeting details must be posted). Utilizing board portal software makes it easy to share and access meeting agendas and other pertinent information.

4. Begin to outline the agenda

After creating this foundation, you can begin to organize the agenda items in an easy-to-follow format. It is helpful to share the agenda through the board portal in advance of the meeting to allow other presenting members to make adequate preparations. Try to maintain consistency in the organization of meeting agendas so that participants know what to expect in the format (although the format also greatly depends on whether or not the meeting follows a parliamentary procedure). The agenda may follow a similar framework as outlined below.

  • Open the meeting. When the meeting is ready to begin (board members are present, a quorum is met), then the presiding board member will open the meeting. This is the point when most boards will also have ceremonial items, such as the Pledge of Allegiance, recognition of students or visitors, and/or public comment.
  • Approve minutes from the previous meeting. The draft minutes from the previous meeting should be made available to all present parties for review and approval. This is an opportunity to make any corrections to the previous minutes. The presiding board member should ask if there are any objections to the approval of the minutes before final approval. Having to distribute and read minutes during the meeting can waste time. Utilizing a board portal will allow easy access for previous meeting minutes to be reviewed before the upcoming meeting. Ask members to come to the meeting having reviewed the previous meeting’s minutes and with any notes or corrections to be made.
  • Reports from administration, boards and/or committees. The presiding officer should find out prior to preparing the agenda who has a report to share at the meeting. This allows individuals and committees to collect information and prepare reports. Not calling for reports from everyone during the meeting is another practice that will save meeting time. Oral reports should be kept short and include basic pertinent information. Comprehensive reports may be shared through the board portal for the board to review. This not only saves time during the meeting, but provides access to the more detailed pieces of projects and maintains a written record for the board to refer back to.
  • Unfinished business. This agenda item may vary by state (in some states, every agenda item must be addressed and there cannot be any unfinished business). Some items may be tabled by the board for the following meeting. Utilizing a board portal, the board can maintain a list of unfinished business items that members and committees may review. Sharing this list through the board portal keeps the board informed regarding the status of any unfinished items.
  • New business. New business is typically only used for board members to bring up items to place on a future agenda. These items would always be listed in advance and never introduced at a meeting. For most states, the public should always be made aware of new business items. It is important to check your local procedures or statutes regarding how new business may be presented. Using the board portal to submit any information related to the topic will keep board members and the public informed.
  • Close the meeting. The presiding officer can remind others of the next meeting or events, review any assigned tasks or business, and then adjourn the meeting. This is also an ideal time to thank other participating members for their efforts.

5. Remember that preparation is key

Send out all meeting-related information prior to the meeting. This may be asking specific administrators to present on a topic, sharing the allotted time for certain agenda items, reminding others of the meeting date/time/location and sharing the agenda outline. Providing this information in advance allows presenters time to distribute links, data and other research prior to the meeting for review; and, again, shows value regarding the time and energy of the participants. Utilize the board portal to save time in distributing information and materials. Do not underestimate the power of preparing an agenda for your board meeting. The presiding officer can develop and apply an efficient and structured agenda to govern a meeting that produces results.