The backbone of every successful business meeting is the agenda. As business owners, your job is to create an agenda that can vividly outline the goal of your meeting. An agenda is basically a call-to-action button that should be pressed in each meeting you make. Here are ways on how to create your agenda:
Create it early. Of course, you want to avoid last-minute preparations. Suppose you’re meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 3 pm. You most certainly won’t do it the morning of the actual day. Preparing it in advance gives you more time to think about the pressing issues that need to be resolved immediately, goals that should be accomplished within certain time frames, and areas that can contribute to the improvement of your business.
Identify the needs. As you start creating your agenda, you need to answer these important questions:
How long should the meeting be?
Who are my participants?
Where’s the location of the meeting?
Seek input from your members. If you’re planning a team meeting, ask your members if they have any ideas on what to discuss on the agenda. Understand the business in their point of view by allowing them to give reasons on why should a particular topic needs to be discussed. You may be surprised to hear their thoughts on these matters. Gathering their ideas and injecting them in the agenda will contribute to a highly-interactive meeting.
Categorize your agenda list. As you create the items for your agenda, make sure to arrange them by its priority. This prevents meetings from getting into overtime. One good tip is to limit your agenda to only five topics. These topics can also be broken down into key points for a more focused discussion.
List your topics as questions. For some businesses, it has been their custom to write their agenda items as phrases. However, listing topics as phrases would be too general for your attendees. For example, instead of writing down “Client Project Management”, why not write “How can we provide more assistance to our clients’ projects?” Query-converted topics provide more specificity and allow your attendees to become more ready for the meeting.
Include additional information. This includes a list of assigned individuals with their corresponding roles and responsibilities during the meeting. For instance, your agenda should include those assigned to distribute the attached documents and who will lead the team discussion.
Be clear of your objectives
As an organizer, you should make it clear what’s the purpose of every meeting you facilitate. These goals are found in your agenda that you’ve created and distributed to your attendees in advance. As the meeting progresses, you should make it a point that each one of these goals is being answered throughout the discussion. Do not leave the meeting until your needs have been satisfied.
Simplify your communication
As someone who has the most knowledge of the topics to be discussed, do not expect that your attendees will have the same level of understanding as you are. You may have certain insight on matters that only a few would understand. This is why you need to develop a plan on how to relay this information in a more simple yet powerful way. For example, instead of using a lot of flowery words or meaningless jargon, why not compose your sentences in a way that’s accessible to all?
If someone doesn’t understand what you’re saying, don’t lose hope. Be patient. Try to reconstruct your phrases so that everyone is on board.
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