How to Create a Meeting Agenda

By: Contributors

Creating a meeting agenda is a fundamental ingredient for a successful meeting. A meeting agenda guides those attending the meeting and keeps them focused on the issues, giving direction to the meeting, thus saving both time and energy. Meeting agendas should be created with input from other committee or project members involved in preparing the meeting. The agenda should let the attendees know what will be discussed and for how long [source:UW]. Here's how to create a meeting agenda.

  • General Overview An effective meeting agenda must include the three W's: where, what and why. Where includes the meeting's location along with the date and the time. "What" tells those attending what topics will be discussed, and "why" tells the attendees the purpose of the meeting in a few words.
  • Basic invitation It's very important that the attendees are invited, by advising them exactly where and when the meeting will take place. The agenda also has to list the names and titles of all those attending. This will help members who don't know each other familiarize themselves with the positions of the other members. Make sure the attendees are told about the meeting plenty of time in advance, so that they can make any arrangements necessary in order to attend.
  • Topics to be discussed A set agenda includes the topics that will be discussed. This helps the attendees understand the purpose of the meeting and gives them time to prepare themselves. Knowing the meeting's goals in advance will enable them to offer their expertise and advice to help achieve the meeting's objectives.
  • Allocation of time An agenda should advise the attendees how long the meeting is expected to last and how much time is allotted to each speaker.

To achieve these goals, the agenda must be followed during the entire meeting, otherwise the meeting is likely to be a failure [source:Microsoft].