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Use agenda templates to simplify your process and make meetings more effective
Have you ever attended a meeting that turned chaotic? In a survey, Harvard Business Review found out from surveying 182 senior managers that 71% felt meetings were inefficient and unproductive.
An agenda refers to a predetermined list of topics that need to be introduced and discussed during the meeting. It could be a simple meeting agenda with one or two discussion items with time allocations for deliberations or voting. A complex effective meeting agenda could be a formal outline that follows Robert’s Rule, which includes a call to order and the order that will be followed in covering old and new issues. The simplicity or complexity of your free agenda templates depends on the needs of your team and the meetings’ objectives.
A typical meeting agenda template doc includes a reading of the previous meeting’s notes or minutes, announcements, a review of discussion topics, and a roll call. Although agendas take time to prepare, the internet has multiple resources such as; agenda template google docs, meeting agenda template ppt free, meeting agenda template free, meeting agenda sample pdf, or a meeting tool like Docket, all of which save you time and other resources. When saving your favorite template in a meeting tool like Docket, one can eliminate the need to have to rebuild them each time when you can use it over an over as your meetings require.
Using agendas for different meeting styles
There are different types of meetings, each with a unique set of characteristics. Understanding what type of meeting you will be holding enables you to come up with a suitable agenda template.
A formal meeting refers to a pre-planned gathering which is held at a specific time in a company or among authority committees. The rules of conducting a formal meeting are normally laid down in the company’s Articles of Association or the committee’s constitution or standing orders. A formal meeting is conducted by a chairperson while a secretary takes records, notes, or minutes. When it comes to the minutes, they have to be accurate and detailed, while summarizing discussions clearly and concisely. Examples of formal meetings include annual general meetings (AGMs), planning meetings, and review meetings. Using a formal meeting agenda template in Docket will help you keep the meeting focused and organized.
Professional meetings are normally held in a workplace environment or among business partners. An effective professional agenda template will help you:
- Motivate the members to be active participants
- Reduce the time spent in meetings
- Leave a positive impression on your external partners
- Save you time creating an agenda and following up on the meetings
- Collaborate with project colleagues and participants efficiently
A casual or informal meeting requires much less planning than a formal meeting. As most casual meetings happen by chance, they lack defining features of a meeting such as a chairperson and the minutes. Unlike formal meetings which take place in boardrooms, casual meetings are likely to be in a casual setup such as a restaurant or the participants’ desks. Informal meetings are meant to make participants feel free and at ease to speak their mind. A team building exercise is an example of a casual or informal meeting. Creating a casual meeting agenda template in Docket is the best option if you want to keep your meeting on track.
Agendas improve team and staff meetings
Although hosting a successful meeting involves quite a number of factors, an effective meeting agenda is perhaps the most important. An agenda defines the meeting’s objectives, eliminates distractions, encourages participation, and provides an action plan.
Often, the lack of productivity in any meeting is not as a result of what took place during the meeting but what did not happen before the meeting: proper planning. Coming up with topics for team meetings at work and distributing them from Docket well in advance is key to successful and productive meetings. The first team meeting agenda sets the tone for your team. It conveys your interest to get down to business by outlining the specific issues to be discussed and your expected outcomes.
A well-organized meeting has a tremendous influence on the success of any team. Apart from sharing pertinent information, it strengthens interpersonal bonds and improves participation. Coining your own team meeting agenda template boosts your team’s productivity as they are able to address the challenges they are faced with. The management can use a weekly team meeting agenda template in Docket to address issues objectively, informatively, and succinctly. Participants are likely to be more receptive to well-presented and organized information.
A staff meeting agenda template is particularly helpful for recurring meetings as it has a provision for reviewing the records on your last staff meeting. This helps make sure that every participant is at par. To be productive, every meeting needs to have a pre-set order. An agenda makes the attendees aware of what issues are going to be discussed, hence prevents them from presenting their own issues. This allows them to prepare materials or ideas on the topics at hand. As there’s time allotted for each topic, the leaders are able to maintain the meeting’s structure and keep it from running for too long.
Have confidence in leading a business or corporate meeting with agendas
Here are some guidelines for creating an effective agenda for your meeting in Docket.
Define your meeting’s expectations or goals
While preparing your agenda, carefully review what the goals of your meeting are. What should the discussions revolve around? Your meeting’s objective should be answered in less than two sentences. Once this is established, prioritize on topics that revolve around it, starting with the most important to the least. Ideally, your meeting should have five or fewer agenda items. This keeps it from being too long and consequently, unproductive.
Choose your attendees
For a meeting to be useful and successful, you have to have the right participants. If you have too many attendees, you will have trouble focusing on everyone’s ideas or opinions. If they are too few, you may miss out on key decision makers.
Plan on the meeting’s logistics
Specify the meeting’s location, and the exact time it will start. For online meetings, you need to include such information as login details and participation codes if you are going to hold a conference call. You can also specify what participants should bring or read before the meeting.
Divide your agenda items into different sections
A business meeting agenda sample should have the first section dedicated to old business. This section gives a brief review of the previous meeting and gives context to the meeting at hand. What were the previous meeting’s action items? What’s their status?
After going over the meeting history, it’s time to go over the topics on the current meeting. To encourage active participation, have each agenda item assigned to a particular person. You can organize your agenda items by dividing major topics into subtopics.
An effective corporate event agenda should have a section for action items. Are there projects that need to be started, reviewed, or finished? Who is responsible? What are the accountability measures that will be used to ensure that each task is completed?
Help others prepare for events from conferences to training and workshops using agenda templates
Event planning begins from when the concept of holding the event is born, and it lasts until it ends. An event schedule template includes everything from the invitations to the event’s budget. Each conference or training has unique objectives and perhaps a varying number of participants. No two training sessions or conferences are the same, even if the topic or theme is the same.
How to write an event agenda
The preparation phase for your training or conference, your conference agenda template may include such things as; coming up with a budget, determining the theme or topics of discussion, identifying the target group and number of attendees, securing presenters that are relevant to the theme, securing the venue, sending out invites to participants, and finalizing on the event details. If yours is only a one-day event, you will need to download a one-day conference agenda template which is less complex.
As it is with a meeting, follow-ups to a training session or seminar are important. At the end of your event agenda template have a notes section where attendees can list down action items, takeaways, and decisions. This allows conference or training participants to visualize what’s expected of them after the event. Attendees can also note down off-topic discussions that come up during the training. These are normally addressed once all other agenda items have been fully discussed.
For ideas for event agenda design, there are plenty of resources on the internet. These include tutorials on how to create an agenda slide in powerpoint and templates such as event agenda template word, itinerary template google docs, and conference agenda template powerpoint which you can customize for your specific setting.
Create unique agendas to help any meeting or event be more successful
While creating an agenda for a meeting is difficult, it becomes more daunting when it comes to unique meetings such as conferences, networking events, training sessions, and so on. For a networking agenda template, you might need to begin with choosing the number of attendees, deciding on the venue, refreshments that will be served, and the overall purpose of the networking event. This will be followed by relevant details such as the number of sessions in the whole event and whether there will be key speakers.
When carrying out training, having an agenda helps break up the training plan so that it’s clear where and how it will start and end. Using training agenda template ppt helps you communicate and summarize important facts about the training session. It also highlights the goals and objectives you intend to achieve through the training.
A workshop agenda template helps organizations conduct workshops smoothly and effectively. Using a workshop agenda template ppt will help you draft various workshop sessions, outline strategies, and provide action plans.
Coming up with an agenda is a critical step to conducting successful meetings. Apart from providing a rough guideline on what the meeting is about, other benefits of having meeting agendas include:
- As all subjects are well articulated, there’s no chance of forgetting a pertinent topic
- The time allocations for each topic prevent the meetings from being overly wrong
- It allows participants to focus on the listed topics
Sometimes creating meeting agendas can be time-consuming which explains why most people ignore it. However, a well-structured and organized agenda built a meeting tool like Docket prepares participants and makes the meeting successful rather than a waste of time.