How to Prepare Agendas

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A well-planned agenda can keep a meeting on track. Time is valuable, and busy schedules may allow only a certain amount of time to get in and out of meetings. Agendas serve as a monitor for the time allocated for the meeting, and meetings are more productive and organized with a detailed guide.

  • Use Microsoft Word or another word processing program. Create your agenda using one of these programs for a professional look. In Microsoft Word you can use a template or create you own.

  • Assign a facilitator, a person who will speak on the topics selected for the meeting. Put the person's name on the agenda after the title "facilitator." The person who creates the agenda is the administrator, and the administrator's role is to keep the meeting on course with the agenda. This information shouldn't be mentioned on the agenda.

  • Create a section for attendees. Include the names of everyone who will attend the meeting and include yourself. You should include the first and last name of your invitees. Do not assume everyone knows one another.

  • Set the amount of time needed on your agenda. Productive meetings are at least an hour long, and create your agenda around that time frame. Allot a time frame for each topic. For example, opening remarks may be 5 minutes; topic No. 1 may be 15 minutes, etc. Do this until you have used up the full hour. Your meeting may not last that long, but you will have the time planned just in case.

  • Include a notes section for anything the administrator may need to follow up on. For follow-up meetings, document the information to create your next agenda.

  • Email your agendas to all attendees days before the meeting. This gives attendees time to prepare and gives you time to reschedule if key people are unable to attend.

References

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