How To Make a Meeting Agenda: Tips, Template, and Example

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published July 26, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

To work efficiently and ensure everyone in your team is on the same page, you may need to hold business meetings. Having a meeting agenda that outlines what you'll discuss ensures you stay on topic and use the meeting time efficiently. So, learning how to make a meeting agenda is beneficial. In this article, we'll cover what a meeting agenda is, how to create one, a template to help you write yours, and what a successful meeting agenda should look like.

What is a meeting agenda?

A meeting agenda is a list of topics or activities you want to discuss during your meeting. You send out a meeting agenda via email to everyone attending beforehand. This gives participants a clear outline of what should happen in the meeting and how long it will take. If other team members are presenting in the meeting, the agenda will tell them when it's their turn to talk.

A meeting agenda can also be useful for you to refer to during the meeting to ensure you're staying on track and covering every important point. This ensures your meeting runs smoothly and you use everyone's time effectively.

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How to make a meeting agenda

Consider these steps when writing your meeting agenda to help you work more efficiently:

1. Identify the meeting's goals

Before you set a meeting, you should have an idea of what you want to discuss. You can have a short meeting with one small goal or a longer one to discuss multiple small goals leading up to a bigger one. Whichever it is, ensure you outline the goal clearly in your meeting agenda so all participants know what to expect.

In the meeting agenda, you'll also include one to five tasks you want to cover. These tasks should all relate to the main goal, so the meeting is focused and productive. Ensure the goal is specific and achievable to keep the meeting focused. For example, a vague goal like increasing sales is hard to discuss and achieve in one meeting. Instead, your goal could be to create a new marketing campaign.

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2. Seek input from participants

Meetings should include your whole team, so it's always best to ask for their input beforehand. Ask them about potential topics they want to cover or questions they have. This ensures participants will be engaged during the meeting. It also gives you the opportunity to better prepare, as their questions won't surprise you during the meeting and you can schedule the time accordingly.

Create a list with all the questions or topics your team suggested and decide which ones you'll ultimately include. If you decide not to include certain questions or topics, approach the team member one-on-one to discuss their suggestion. This allows you to keep the meeting relevant and time efficient while still acknowledging your team's concerns.

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3. List the questions you want to address

After brainstorming the goal of the meeting and talking to your team, list the questions you need answers to. You can incorporate these questions into your meeting agenda in the goal, topics, or remarks section. For example, instead of having the topic, "Discuss areas for improvement," you could write, "How can we improve our sales tactics?"

Including questions in your meeting agenda gives your team the opportunity to prepare answers beforehand. This is more time efficient as no one will need to think about an answer on the spot.

4. Identify the purpose of each task

To ensure every participant knows their role, identify the purpose of each task in your meeting agenda. There are three main purposes: share information, seek input, or make a decision. Including the purpose of each task allows participants to know when they should listen, give their input, or help make a decision.

Think about your decision-making process will be. For example, do you want to decide by consensus on the spot or hear your team's opinions and decide on your own later? Be clear about your decision-making process so your team knows what their contribution should be.

5. Estimate the amount of time to spend on each topic

Next, provide an estimate of the amount of time you plan to spend on each topic. This shows participants how long the meeting will be and ensures you have enough time to cover every topic. It also ensures participants know they need to limit their comments or questions to fit within the timeframe.

When creating an estimate, consider the time it takes to introduce the topic, answer questions, generate solutions, and come up with a plan of action. Schedule items of higher importance earlier in the meeting to ensure you cover them. Try to stay on schedule by limiting discussion on certain topics or encouraging a quick decision.

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6. Identify who leads each topic

Even if you're the leader of the meeting, you'll likely have other team members speak or present topics. If you do, ensure you assign these roles in your meeting agenda under each topic. This ensures those involved are prepared for their task and know when it's their turn to speak.

7. End each meeting with a review

At the end of the meeting, spend five minutes reviewing everything you discussed and the team's roles going forward. This ensures everyone understands what the meeting was about and the steps they need to take following the meeting. Then, ask your team what went well in the meeting and what you should do differently next time. This helps you improve your skills so you can make your next meeting more effective.

Meeting agenda template

To help you make a meeting agenda, tailor this template to any type of meeting:

Meeting Agenda

Date:
Time:
Location:

Agenda details

Goals:

1. Agenda item one description

Time:
Purpose:
Leader:

a. Remarks
b. Remarks
c. Remarks

2. Agenda item two description

Time:
Purpose:
Leader:

a. Remarks
b. Remarks
c. Remarks

3. Agenda item three description

Time:
Purpose:
Leader:

a. Remarks
i. Additional remarks
ii. Additional remarks
b. Remarks
c. Remarks

4. Agenda item four description

Time:
Purpose:
Leader:

a. Remarks
b. Remarks
c. Remarks

5. Agenda item five description

Time:
Purpose:
Leader:

a. Remarks
i. Additional remarks
ii. Additional remarks
iii. Additional remarks
b. Remarks
c. Remarks

6. End of meeting review

Time:
Purpose:
Leader:

a. What did we do well in this meeting?
b. What should we do differently next meeting?

Meeting agenda example

Here's an example of what your meeting agenda should look like:

Meeting Agenda

Date: January 3, 2021
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Conference Room A

Agenda details

*Goals: Review the sales department's performance for 2020, discuss areas we succeeded in and ways we could improve, and go over upcoming monthly and annual goals.*

1. Did we meet our sales goals last year?

Time: 10 minutes
Purpose: Share information
Leader: Jane Smith

a. Present the sales goals from last year
b. Discuss whether we hit them and by how much

2. How did we succeed last year?

Time: 15 minutes
Purpose: Seek input
Leader: Jane Smith

a. Congratulate and thank the team for their hard work
b. Review areas we succeeded in and discuss why
c. Brainstorm ways we can continue to succeed

3. How can we improve this year?

Time: 15 minutes
Purpose: Make a decision
Leader: John Adams

a. Discuss sales goals we didn't meet
i. Determine if the sales goals were too unrealistic
ii. Adjust future sales goals accordingly
b. Discuss any other areas for improvement
c. Ask the team if they need further training or support in specific areas

4. What are our 2021 monthly sales goals?

Time: 15 minutes
Purpose: Share information
Leader: Blair Jackson

a. Go over sales goals for each month
b. Discuss how we're going to monitor progress
c. Ask the team about their preference for rewards when meeting each goal, such as pizza lunches

5. What are our 2021 annual sales goals?

Time: 15 minutes
Purpose: Share information
Leader: Blair Jackson

a. Go over the annual sales goals
i. Ask the team what resources they need to meet these goals
ii. Identify tasks for each team member
b. Discuss how we're going to monitor progress
c. Inform team about the bonus they can receive for reaching our annual goal

6. End of meeting review

Time: 5 minutes
Purpose: Make a decision
Leader: Jackson Lim

a. What did we do well in this meeting?
b. What should we do differently next meeting?

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