5 Fast Tips for... meeting agendas

Fast Five Tips for
meeting agendas
Yesterday I received an email, it was one of many, but this particular one stood out. It was from a guy who I have a meeting with today. There are only going to be 5 of us in the meeting but my colleague had sent out an agenda!

I hadn't been expecting it, but when I reviewed what he had sent, it was a useful reminder about where the meeting was being held, when and for how long. More importantly though, it set very clear expectations about the topic that was to be covered and what we would achieve in this time.

To me, this not only helped me prepare for the meeting, it has positively influenced my view on the professionalism of the person who sent it to me - because of his level of preparation and how this demonstrated his understanding of the issues that are to be discussed.

Which is just a recent example and a reminder to me (hence the timing of this blog!) about the importance of preparing agendas for any meetings that you organize - even if there's only a few people attending.

So with this topic in mind, here's this week's Fast Five Tips - for preparing meeting agendas:

1. Prepare an agenda - even for small and short meetings. It will help move things along, set expectations and enhance your credibility. Being seen as professional will reflect well on you and become positively associated with your operating style.

2. Logistics - document the date, time, length or meeting, location and who will be attending.

3. Include Titles - unless people work in the same immediate team include titles of people attending on the agenda. This helps other participants know who is attending and can also provide indications of the seniority level of attendees and the breadth of issues being covered. People will be able to prepare accordingly.

4. Content - cover what is relevant such as the agenda items/topics, how long each session is scheduled for, who is leading discussions and any outcomes / decisions that are required on the day.

5. Let people know - if they have an item to talk to or something they need to bring to the meeting before you send out a meeting agenda. This is Stakeholder Management 101 - let people know what is required of them before it goes public.

If you can, send out the agenda the day before so that people have time to read, reflect and complete any preparation that is required.

You not only want to look professional - it also helps if you can help your colleagues do the same.

They'll remember when you do!

- Karen

P.S. Way to go Eammon!

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