By following a few simple steps, it’s easy to make a meeting agenda.
In this article, we’ll offer a few expert tips to ensure your meeting agenda is more than a list of topics; it’s a powerful guide that drives your meeting forward.
But, if tips aren’t what you’re after and you want to download or copy meeting agenda templates, scroll ahead. You’ll find plenty of sample agendas near the end of the article. 👇
📝 What kind of document are you using for your agenda?
Firstly, are you planning on making your agenda in a Google Doc, a Word document? What about email? Will you print it?
An agenda with spreadsheet tables and graphics is not likely to look good in an email. But an email won’t print out nicely. And, it's almost impossible to turn a spreadsheet into meeting minutes.
The right type of document for your agenda probably has something to do with how formal a meeting is.
Also, think about how you will organize your notes and agendas. Filing these meeting documents in folders has some major pitfalls, but not organizing them at all is even worse.
Meeting notes software like Hugo auto-organizes your notes and lets you share your agenda digitally, email it, and even save it as a PDF for printing.
For your final decision, I suggest using a digital note-taking tool like Hugo or Google Docs so that you can format your agenda to look nice while also easily sharing it in a variety of ways.
🤷 What is the goal of your meeting?
Now that you’ve decided what kind of document to use for your agenda take 10 seconds for a quick thought exercise.
See, before you actually start preparing the agenda, it’s a good idea to reflect on the meeting as a whole.
- What’s the purpose of your meeting?
- Why are you meeting in the first place?
- What absolutely has to happen during this meeting?
If you’re having a hard time answering these questions, I have another question for you. Should you even have this meeting at all?
If you’re still sure you should have the meeting, your goal might be something like this:
- Update the team on project progress and assign all necessary tasks
- Decide on the strategy to overcome a problem
- Communicate big ideas to your team so that everyone is aligned
- Learn about all of the challenges a customer is facing and help them overcome them
- Learn specifics about a sales prospect’s business and educate them on how your solution solves problems for them
🏃♀️ Write your agenda using action-oriented language in your agenda
One area a lot of people mess up when making a meeting agenda is not including enough information.
A good agenda lists topics for the meeting and lets attendees know some detail about those topics.
For instance, you might be inclined to write something like “Hiring Discussion” in your meeting agenda.
But such a discussion topic gives almost no information to other people who are coming to your meeting. Now, imagine instead you write this: “Hiring - should we revise our plan given the downturn?”
This is a big, serious question that you don’t just want to drop on people’s laps. You want them to have time before the meeting to gather their thoughts.
This is what I mean by using action-oriented language. What actually needs to be discussed? Presented? Decided?
Spice up your meeting agenda template and make it actually mean something.
🚀 Putting it all together: Sample meeting agendas
Here are a few examples of meeting agendas that you can use as templates for various types of meetings.
- Regular Team Meeting
- Sprint Planning
- Monthly Management Meeting
These agenda examples cover a wide range, so, in your quest to learn how to make a meeting agenda, hopefully you will find something similar to the kind of meeting you're preparing for. If not, browse our whole gallery of meeting agenda templates here.
If you like what you see, each has a link to copy as a Google Doc, download as a Word document, or use for free in Hugo.
Regular Team Meeting
Customer Check-In Meeting
Monthly Management Meeting
🎁 You’ve read this guide on how to make a meeting agenda...
A smartly-made meeting agenda is only the beginning.
You still need to share your agenda with attendees, have the meeting, and potentially follow-up afterward. If you have any questions or concerns about these steps, here are a few resources that will help you: 👇