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Agendas are a crucial component of any successful business meeting. Agendas provide vital information on the next meetings, where and when they will take place and the key points of the discussion during the meeting. Having an agenda before a meeting will make the meeting much shorter, more concise and the rate of productivity will increase.

image001Writing a Meeting Agenda

The first step to making an effective agenda is to understand how to write one. The 3 following steps will help you along in the agenda writing process.

· Step 1: Write the location and the time of the meeting, as well as the projected duration of the meeting in its entirety. This allows for your staff to arrive on time, all the while knowing what to expect during the meeting. This is that so they can better plan their schedule.

· Text Box: “Use headings to establish key points of the meeting.” Step 2: Use headings to establish key points of the meeting. This enables your partners to plan for the meeting; by knowing the principal aspects of discussion, partners can prepare notes, further points of discussion and provide ideas/suggestions that are relevant to the topics being discussed.

· image003Step 3: Once you have established the key points, be sure to include time to bring up any open discussions from previous meetings that have not yet been touched upon.

Once you have completed these three steps, send the agenda to all relevant members well ahead of time with any important notes attached. By doing so, your partners will have time to prepare what they need for the meeting in order to provide suggestions and points of discussion that help the entire team.

Standard Layout of Business Agendas

Most business meeting agendas follow the same or very similar format. Whether you’re in law, finances, sports management, etc. it doesn’t matter; by using the standard layout, partners will have a better understanding of the agenda and be able to plan accordingly. A standard agenda consists of:

· A welcome message or opening

· A Review of the points of discussion from previous meetings

· image004Why the day’s topics are being discussed

· A review of old business or open discussions

· Specific points of discussion on new points (this includes the bulk of the meeting and this is where the decisions for the day are made)

· Any issues that have not been discussed or resolved in a previous section of the agenda

· A close to the meeting which includes a review of all discussion points, decisions that have been made and communication plans for use during the actual meeting itself

Conclusion

Text Box: “The use of an agenda is essential to conducting effective meetings.” image006

The use of an agenda is essential to conducting an effective meeting. The agenda allows meetings to be conducted in a precise manner without wasting any time. This is made so by allowing partners to properly prepare for the business meetings. The agendas also provide the meeting’s key points of the discussion, so partners can be active members of the team during the meeting. So long as you follow a format that is easy to understand, such as the standard business format, your meeting(s) should flow easily. This will make it so that all of the discussions go smoothly and stay on topic.


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