Formal Meeting Agenda Template
This formal meeting agenda template can help you run a productive meeting. When the agenda is shared early, decisions are documented, and action items are saved, every meeting runs more efficiently.
Maintain consistent meeting practices
From board meetings to council hearings, formal meetings require diligence and order. Formal meeting minutes need to be captured accurately and securely stored for later.
Set clear expectations from start to finish
Easily share agendas and meeting recaps with highlighted decisions and takeaways to meeting participants and stakeholders. Save and search notes fast. Previous meeting minutes? Seconded.
Formal Meeting Agenda
What is a Formal Meeting?
Formal meetings are pre-planned events where multiple individuals are assembled to achieve a common goal through verbal interaction. They share certain characteristics:
- Topics are pre-determined.
- Meeting objectives are pre-defined.
- Formal invitations are issued.
The meetings are held at a set time in a defined place and follow an agenda. The meeting has a chairperson who facilitates the meeting and a secretary responsible for preparing and distributing the meeting’s minutes. Formal meetings can include board meetings, committee meetings, conclaves, council meetings, stockholders’ meetings, summit meetings, or symposiums. The degree of formality depends on the organization’s culture. Some companies may feel comfortable having more formalized meetings, while others are happy with an informal structure.
Formal meetings can promote accountability and transparency. The minutes of a formal meeting serve as a record of what was discussed, what decisions were made, and how members voted. In some organizations, formal meetings are required.
Business Meeting Agenda Template
Formal meetings follow a standard format which is reflected in the meeting’s agenda. Before a formal meeting, the agenda should be circulated to all those invited. Because of the nature of the discussions, participants may want to research a topic or topics beforehand. An example of a formal meeting agenda template includes the following:
Call to Order
According to Robert’s Rules of Order, the President or facilitator starts the meeting by announcing to everyone that the meeting is about to begin. The minutes should record the time the meeting started and the individual calling it to order. The facilitator may offer a brief welcome.
The individual in charge of the meeting minutes takes attendance. In some instances, this requires a verbal response from each attendee. Those not in attendance are noted. Voting attendees are separated from guests when taking attendance. The list of attendees is not included in a business meeting agenda template.
Approval of Minutes
Minutes from the previous meeting should have been distributed with the meeting agenda for attendees to review. The facilitator will ask if there are any amendments or changes. If not, the minutes will be approved.
Different types of reports may be given at this point in the meeting. Officer reports are presented, followed by any committee reports. Special reports are presented last.
- Officer. Standard reports may be delivered, such as Treasurer or Executive. After the report, recommendations may be suggested, followed by discussions. Motions are then made and seconded before voted on.
- Committee. The Committee Chairperson or designate delivers a report for the group. Recommendations may be made. Unless there is a discussion, the chairperson makes a motion. The motion is then voted on.
- Other. Special reports such as those provided by consultants may be given at this point in the meeting.
The officers, committees, and special presenters should be listed as part of the agenda.
Standard Order of Business
The standard order of business divides topics into Old and New business. Old business refers to any items that were not resolved in the prior meeting. New business includes topics that have not been presented to the members before. Any documentation or supporting material should have been included with the agenda so participants have time to review.
Before adjournment, the facilitator should ask if there are any announcements to be shared with the group. This may be a reminder of an upcoming event or an indication that a new project is getting ready to launch.
The facilitator asks if there is any additional business before asking for a motion to adjourn. The motion is made, seconded, and passed. The minutes should reflect the time of adjournment.
Meeting Agenda Topics
Meeting topics provide information, initiate discussions, or stipulate actions. An informational report may turn into a discussion that results in an actionable item, so it’s important to keep track of time. Not every item on the agenda will receive adequate coverage.
- Information. These items include status updates, officer or committee reports, or research results. The objective is to share key points with team members.
- Discussion. Discussion topics could include what features are needed on a CRM replacement solution or what needs to be on a new expense form.
- Action. This area is where individuals are given assignments with due dates. Someone could be asked to draft a new expense form.
No matter what the topic, any materials that will be used as a reference during the meeting should be distributed with the agenda. The best meeting agenda templates can help organize possible topics.
Sample Meeting Agenda
The following is an example of a formal meeting agenda. If there are no reports or old business, they do not need to appear on the agenda.
Monthly Board of Directors’ Meeting Agenda
July 25, 2021 @ 2:00 PM in Conference Room 300
Call to Order
- Status of Upcoming Demo
- Demo Participants
- Version Control Software
- Hybrid Work Schedules
Formal Meeting Agenda Templates
Formal meetings can seem intimidating with all the special terminology and procedures, but they don’t have to be. With effective meeting agenda templates from Docket, assembling a professional agenda is as easy as downloading an agenda template.