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- Circulate the agenda in advance – and include minutes of previous meetings, people’s commitment from previous meetings and briefing documents.
- Allow others to contribute to the agenda items – but put a time scale on when you need agenda items to be contributed
- Put start and end times for each agenda point
- Include the desired goals and objectives for the meeting on the agenda
- Include a purpose for the meeting on the agenda. This will allow participants to see if they really need to attend.
- Review the agenda before you start the meeting, and see whether there is anything else to be added.
- Prioritise and put the most important items at the top of the agenda
- Allow sufficient breaks, as participants will start to flag after about 60 mins
- Include details of the venue for the meeting on the agenda, including a phone number which the meeting organiser can be contacted on, in case of people being late
- Before deciding to include an agenda point, review it – do you have time to include it? Plus, is it relevant to the desired goals and objectives for the meeting?
- Plan in some variety to the agenda – presentation after presentation after presentation gets very dull. Think about including some breakout group work, for a different meeting dynamic
- Have someone facilitate the meeting to help you keep to your planned agenda
- Leave some ‘back-pocket’ time in your agenda, in case of discussions running over. Normally participants welcome a meeting finishing early rather than running over.
- Remember to include time for introductions in your agenda if participants don’t know each other.
- Remember to include time for a meeting summary and agreement of who has agreed to do what and when by.
- Remember to include time to celebrate any successes during the meeting
- At the beginning of the meeting, take the opportunity to explain the reason for the agenda’s order and structure
- Include time on the agenda for participants to state what they want to achieve in the meeting