To have a productive meeting, it is important to have a meeting agenda that will set its tone. Meetings are important to businesses because they help to reinforce the company’s vision. It is where workers communicate and make decisions about the company. Certain topics will always need addressing but making sure the right people are targeted and then ensuring the meeting will be relevant is a prime reason for following an agenda.
There should be a person responsible for the agenda. This meeting chairperson, or facilitator, will be key to keeping the meeting on topic. The facilitator must make sure the agenda presents meaningful as well as relevant information. There is nothing worse than attending a meeting for several hours and having accomplished nothing. The main purpose of the meeting should be to formulate creative strategies to implement in the workplace. So making effective use of time is very important.
Prior to the meeting date, the meeting chair should share the agenda with colleagues and ask for their suggestions. With enough advance notice, a few key people could check facts, edit material, or include additional talking points. Planning will typically take several hours. However, the investment of time in the pre-meeting stage will be worth the benefits the company receives for accomplishing the tasks set forth for the meeting.
The agenda should outline the intended goals of the meeting and every opportunity should be listed to support and or resolve issues that are to be discussed. No one will be surprised by the subject matter and it will give participants an opportunity to prepare statements in support of or rebuttals to the topics being presented. It is up to the facilitator to keep the transition of the meeting running smoothly. It might also be worthy to have contributors submit their views ahead of the meeting to get a feel for the length of their presentations.
At the meeting, start on time and get confirmation that everyone will be able to stay for the duration. As the meeting proceeds the chair will periodically check the time to guarantee each issue is covered. Some items may carry more importance than others and time will either be shortened or lengthen so more pertinent issues receive priority.