What is a meeting agenda and why is it important?
A good meeting agenda serves as a guide to participants, making the meeting more efficient and productive. An effective meeting agenda states what activities will take place during the meeting. It serves various important functions:
- It forces the president, vice-president and the other members of the student organization to think what needs to be accomplished
- If provided ahead of time, the agenda lets people know what to expect during the meeting and allows them to prepare as necessary
- It provides a blueprint or path for the meeting to follow
- It reminds the participants of what there is left to cover if time gets to be an issue
The header of the agenda is particularly useful if participants belong to various groups/organizations:
- Organization Name
- Group Meeting Agenda
- Starting and Ending Time
The body lists the actual items to be covered during the meeting. When possible, use actionable words such as approve, discuss, adopt, and announce to let participants know what is expected of them.
- Welcome/Introductions– Doing this is helpful if the members of the group do not meet often. It is also a good way of getting the meeting started while not making late-comers miss anything substantive. (10 min)
- Approve previous meeting minutes–Necessary only if minutes are kept. (5 min)
- Discuss the topics at hand. This will usually be broken up into several parts, and will take up the bulk of the meeting. This is where you would include items like “Review annual budget” or “Brainstorm fundraising ideas” (60 min total)
- Announcements – This is often kept to the end of the meeting, but because new information can sometimes change the focus of a meeting, it may be useful to have announcements early on. (10 min)
- Decide on time and agenda for next meeting. (5 min)