How to Set an Agenda for a Meeting

In How to Set an Agenda for a Meeting you will learn 5 things that must be established in order to achieve success. A well-written agenda will serve to keep you on task and on track while letting your meeting participants come prepared and feel at ease. Those attending your meetings will thank you.

Establish Topics: Determine the reason for your meeting and list the topics that must be discussed. Encourage those slated to praticpate in your meeting to communicate topics or items they would like to see included in the agenda. Give them a deadline by which you must receive those suggestions in order to have them included for that particular meeting.

Establish Priorities: Now that you have your preliminary list of items, simply spend some time prioritizing them in order of importance or by deadline dates. Remember, you may not have time to touch on every item on your list, so setting priorities will help you decide which items definitely make it onto the agenda.

Establish Presenters: You may not be presenting on every item or leading each discussion. In fact, a wise leader will allow others to take a share of the leadership role. Award participants for their performance and show them the confidence you have in them to lead. Maybe someone approached you about including a certain agenda item for the meeting. Take that occasion to give them an opportunity to present at the meeting. Bottom line, include on your agenda who is leading what discussion. Assign presenters.

Establish a Schedule: Determine the appropriate length of your meeting and then estimate time needed for each individual agenda item. Don't pretend to accomplish too much in one sitting. Be wise and allow extra time for each topic. Put in some wiggle room. Your schedule will serve as a discipline to help keep you focused and stay on track.

Establish Consistency: In other words, stick to the agenda. Don't add or skip items. Don't go over the time allotted to specific topics. Don't butt in and present when someone else was slated to lead that particular discussion. An agenda is only as effective as the extent to which it is followed. Over time, your particpants will come to respect and expect a well written agenda.


  • Get your finished agenda to your participants in enough time for them to come prepared and comfortable to the meeting. Use prior agendas to help you work on current and future agendas.


  • Make sure you plan wiggle room into your agenda. Don't suffocate your meeting with a jam packed agenda that is wound tight.

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