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How to create an agenda

Agendas are a simple but important way to keep your meetings smooth from point A to point B. Despite popular belief, you do not need to write a really long essay or document. Instead, you can make a brief description of the most important points you want to go through in a meeting. Once you have formulated your agenda, give it to all participants three days before the actual meeting takes place.[1]


[[[[Edit]Outlines the agenda

  1. Search online for a template that you can use for your agenda. Look for a simple template that will help you effectively share all the necessary information in your agenda. Download or refer to this template so you can use it as the backbone of your own document.[2]
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    • Many websites offer free agenda templates, such as Adobe Spark and SmartSheet. Other programs also offer agenda templates, such as Microsoft Office.
  2. Create your agenda at least 3 days before the meeting. Set aside time several days before the meeting so that all participants have plenty of time to review what the meeting will be about. An agenda helps these participants prepare the necessary material and gives them time to ask questions or thoughts about the meeting itself.[3]
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    • For example, if the meeting is to take place on Wednesday, you want the agenda to be sent out on Sunday.
  3. Decide when and where the meeting will be held on the agenda. Enter the building and room in which the meeting will be held, or the room code online if you are holding a virtual meeting. Clearly state the date and time of the meeting so that all participants can come on time.[4]
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    • This information should go somewhere at the top of the page.
    • For example, you can write that the date of the meeting is April 30 at 19:30.
  4. Select start and end time for the meeting. Describe how long the meeting will be so that the participants know what to expect. Aim to keep the meeting as short as possible so that you do not take too much of someone else’s time. As a general rule of thumb, strive to keep your meetings about 20 to 30 minutes long.[5]
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    • Some meetings take more time than others, which is perfectly normal. Be honest and in advance about how long the meeting will take.
  5. List the basic goals and objectives of your meeting. Limit the purpose of the boiler to your meeting. Are you discussing upcoming events, reviewing a budget or conducting a brainstorm? You will find it easier to organize your agenda if you understand the basic points that you want to cover.[6]
    Create an Agenda Step 5 Version 3.jpg
    • For example, a brainstorming meeting may spend more time generating ideas from participants, while a review-based meeting may focus more on critical decisions.

[[[[Edit]Communicate your points clearly

  1. Limit your agenda to five topics. Write a list of everything you want to talk about at the meeting, even if the list gets quite long. Once you have written down your thoughts, tick all the points that are not crucial to the meeting. Instead, choose the 5 most important topics that really need to be discussed or mentioned.[7]
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    • Focus on points that are more serious and time sensitive. For example, if the meeting is about balancing a budget, you want to focus on discussions to cut funding.
  2. Choose conversations that apply to everyone at the meeting. Customize the content of the meeting to the list of participants. Ideally, your entire agenda should be relevant to each person attending the meeting. If an item on the agenda can be resolved in a phone call or email, you do not need to put it on the agenda.[8]
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    • For example, if you have a question for an individual tutor or colleague, you would not put that request on the agenda.
  3. Present each topic as an open question. Turn every conversation into an issue that is easy to discuss with the other members of the meeting. Create questions that are open and thoughtful, and not just yes or no. Try to make these issues as engaging as possible so that your meeting discussion can be as productive as possible.[9]
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    • For example, instead of putting “catering discussion” as a topic on the agenda, write something like “Who will cater for the reception at our next event?”
  4. Leave the first item on your agenda open. Give other members of the meeting time to address any concerns they may have about the agenda or organization of the meeting. This first point does not take very long in the meeting, but it does give participants a chance to express their thoughts and opinions about the agenda itself.[10]
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    • In general, it should not take more than two minutes to go over the agenda at the beginning of the meeting.
  5. Delegate certain topics to other people. Do not feel that you have to run all aspects of the meeting on your own. Instead, use the agenda to transfer leadership to different employees and superiors during different parts of the meeting. Indicate who will lead each topic agenda, so meeting participants understand who is responsible for what.[11]
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    • You can note the “purpose” and “leader” under each item on the agenda. For example, you can list “decisions” as the purpose of a meeting, as well as who leads that segment of the meeting.
  6. Hold a plus / attend at the end of your meeting. Set aside time at the end of the agenda to review how the meeting went. This does not have to be very in-depth – it is just a general question asking for suggestions and feedback about the meeting at the bottom of the agenda. On some agendas, this is marked as a “plus / delta.”[12]
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    • For example, you could write something like, “What were some strengths of this meeting?” or “How can we improve in future meetings?”
  7. Add all other important information to the newspaper. Create a “preparation” section next to each topic on your agenda. List any examinations or other “homework” that meeting participants need to do before the meeting begins. This section may remind participants to read specific articles or notes, or to review previous meeting notes.[13]
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    • For example, you could write something like: “Please read through the email I sent regarding the upcoming fundraiser.”
    • Not all aspects of the meeting agenda require preparation.

[[[[Edit]End the agenda

  1. Assign deadlines for each topic. Include a specific timing for each call on your agenda. It’s okay if you do not follow an exact schedule – what matters most is that the participants have an idea of ​​how long or short something needs to take. This can help you prioritize more important conversations in the meeting.[14]
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    • For example, reviewing the agenda only needs to take two minutes, while larger decisions may need 50 minutes.
  2. Divide each agenda item into manageable pieces. Create a short list of points next to each conversation point and walk the participants through how the meeting will go. Break the task into pieces by pieces and give each individual task a time estimate. This makes the meeting feel more manageable and helps to calm the participants’ minds.[15]
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    • For example, you can spend 5 minutes identifying and noticing a specific problem and then 10 minutes brainstorming possible solutions. After this, you can take another ten minutes to decide which is the best possible solution.
  3. Give your employees a copy of the agenda three days before the meeting. E-mail the agenda to the meeting participants or hand out a physical copy. Make sure each person has three days to review the agenda before the meeting so that they can offer suggestions, if needed.[16]
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  4. Gather the materials you need for certain parts of the meeting. Take a quick look at your agenda and see what documents and other paperwork you need to have on hand during the meeting. Print and set aside these documents in advance so that you are organized and ready to go before the meeting begins.[17]
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    • For example, if part of the agenda requires participants to read a specific memo, be sure to print out a copy of that memo and bring it to the meeting.

[[[[Edit]Examples of agendas

WH.shared.addScrollLoadItem (‘! 5f550781e2d4a’)Example of business meeting agenda
WH.shared.addScrollLoadItem (‘! 321s444121’)Example of club meeting agenda
WH.shared.addScrollLoadItem (‘! 321s444’. ‘)Example of PTA meeting agenda


  • Ask your colleagues for feedback on the agenda you are making.[18]
  • Look for free templates online to help you design your agenda.


  • Do not invite people to a meeting unless they need to be there.[19]


  1. https://lessmeeting.com/7-steps-perfect-meeting-agenda/
  2. https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-design-an-agenda-for-an-effective-meeting
  3. https://lessmeeting.com/7-steps-perfect-meeting-agenda/
  4. https://www.calendar.com/blog/how-to-create-a-meeting-agenda-that-really-works/
  5. https://www.calendar.com/blog/how-to-create-a-meeting-agenda-that-really-works/
  6. https://lessmeeting.com/7-steps-perfect-meeting-agenda/
  7. https://lessmeeting.com/7-steps-perfect-meeting-agenda/
  8. https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-design-an-agenda-for-an-effective-meeting
  9. https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-design-an-agenda-for-an-effective-meeting
  10. https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-design-an-agenda-for-an-effective-meeting
  11. https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-design-an-agenda-for-an-effective-meeting
  12. https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-design-an-agenda-for-an-effective-meeting
  13. https://lessmeeting.com/7-steps-perfect-meeting-agenda/
  14. https://lessmeeting.com/7-steps-perfect-meeting-agenda/
  15. https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-design-an-agenda-for-an-effective-meeting
  16. https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-design-an-agenda-for-an-effective-meeting
  17. https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-design-an-agenda-for-an-effective-meeting
  18. https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-design-an-agenda-for-an-effective-meeting
  19. https://hbr.org/2015/03/how-to-design-an-agenda-for-an-effective-meeting

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