Setting an Agenda - Free eBook in PDF Format

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Setting an Agenda eBook  

Book Description - ISBN 978-1-62620-995-4 (22 Pages)
An agenda represents far more than simply a list of items that need to be discussed. In fact, a well-planned agenda is the foundation for a productive meeting and has five distinct purposes, each of which has implications for organizational efficiency and for maintaining good relations with your co-workers and team members. This free eBook explains how to set an agenda to make your meeting a success.

Chapter 1 - Meeting Agenda Format
An agenda allows invitees to decide whether or not they need to attend, it acts as a reference so that attendees can prepare for the meeting, it provides a structure for the meeting, it gives the Chair a tool they can use to keep the meeting under control and it represents a standard by which the meeting can be judged a success or failure.

Chapter 2 - Writing a Meeting Agenda
Your agenda should be headed with a title, date, time, the location of the meeting, and a list of expected attendees. By clearly stating the objectives of your meeting at the top of the agenda, attendees are more likely to prepare properly and less likely to resent being asked to attend.

Chapter 3 - Meeting Agenda Sample
Each agenda item should have an item number, timings, sub-titles if necessary and an indication of who is to lead the discussion.

Chapter 4 - Agendas for Short Meetings
Even short ad hoc meetings benefit from an agenda as it gives a meeting purpose and focus. This is because discussions tend to wander off the point if there is no agenda and attending a meeting without one could leave you vulnerable to being bounced into agreeing to something that you later regret.

You will learn:
  • Why you should always insist that a meeting is run to an agreed agenda.
  • The five distinct purposes that are served by a successful agenda.
  • How to incorporate all of these into any agenda that you develop.
  • How to arrange individual items and allocate realistic timescales.
  • How each item for discussion should be specified.

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Recommended by Recommended by NetLine

A Methodical Approach To Setting an Agenda
Setting an Agenda - Meeting Skills is a beneficial tool for those who have trouble planning before a meeting. We all know how important meetings are in any organization, regardless of its size. These meetings can either "rally up the troops" or go astray and end up being meaningless. The last thing a manager or team lead needs is to have pointless meetings in which attendees either get bored or don't learn anything. One of my good friends often had trouble conducting meetings because they never really had a proper beginning and end. Even worse, he was often just rambling and sometimes we used to think that he just called us in to waste our time.

While my colleagues didn't have the courage to tell him that his meetings needed structure and an agenda, I as his friend, wanted to tell him. But before going to him, I wanted to make sure that I had all the information required to fix the problem. I have never believed in approaching a problem to fix it without the right solution. Meeting Skills is a book that didn't only end up benefiting my friend, but it also gave me the confidence and knowledge to conduct successful meetings on my own down the road when I reach a managerial position.

I referred this free book to my friend because it made sense right from the introduction. It started with the statement that an agenda should be short, timed, simple, and clear. Although this may sound simple when hearing it, but I feel that a lot of managers I've had seemed to ramble on without a clear direction in mind. They wouldn't pay attention to how long these meetings would go on and of course, if they didn't value the attendees' time, the attendees were not too keen on paying attention to the manager. On top of that, some managers had short meetings, but they would discuss overly complex matters that should have been broken down and simplified into easy-to-digest bits of information so that everyone could understand.

So this book makes sense when it states how an ideal meeting should be. My friend appreciated the fact of how the book approached setting an agenda so methodically. It states that first a person must clearly state the meeting's purpose and what points will be discussed in it. Then, issues must be prioritized according to the order of importance so that matters aren't missed out in case time runs out. Lastly, a time period should be set for each point so such a situation never arises.

Moving on to discuss how the book addresses the importance of an agenda, it states that an agenda allows invitees to decide whether or not it is essential for them to attend the meeting. Some employees may already be bogged down with work, so if a manager plans on discussing the cash flow statement with the research and development department, it will be a waste of their time.

Moving on, the book goes on to discuss how an agenda also allows those attending to prepare for the meeting. This way, they know what's coming their way so they research relevant information before coming. Lastly, the agenda provides a solid structure for the meeting so that everyone attending it stays on track. This book goes on to describe how one should write the agenda, but my friend and I found that to not only be overly technical, but also kind of pointless as long as you have picked up the central theme of the book. Overall, Setting an Agenda is a useful read for managers and those who conduct meetings.
Marilyn Brewer

Saves Time and Frustration in the Meeting
I've started checking that my agenda follows the five guidelines given in this book. The extra 5 minutes it takes to check the agenda and fix anything saves time and frustration in the meeting. This book is a good free resource (like most of the stuff on here).
Opal Soto

Explains the Five Key Reasons For Setting an Agenda
When I came across this book I noticed that it was very short, something I could read on a break. I looked at the first few pages and found on the preface page that there is a list of things that should be learned after reading this book. It had five bulleted points that stated the key points of the book that I should understand once I have read it.

The five bulleted points are: why you should always insist that a meeting is run to an agreed agenda, the five distinct purposes that are served by a successful agenda, how to incorporate all of these into any agenda that you develop, how to arrange individual items and allocate realistic timescales, and how each item for discussion should be specified. If you are interested in setting an agenda, starting with those key points listed in the preface is a good start. If you are unsure about any of those learning topics then it will be beneficial for you to read this book. If you already understand all of those, then this book may be a waste of your time.

I really found this book to be useful to me. In the introduction the book states a useful tip that I had never tried. It urges the reader to send over your agenda before the meeting so that everyone is aware of the purpose of the meeting. I liked that the author simple laid out how an agenda should be orchestrated. I was unaware that in an agenda that you should involve a time to discuss each point in the agenda. Prior to reading this book, I was under the impression that a start time was the only mention of time need in my agenda. I really liked the idea of setting specific times to discuss each topic. I feel that it helps the meeting run a little more efficiently.

Towards the beginning of the book, the author states five reasons to have an agenda. I thought the main point of an agenda is so that everyone knows what the topic for discussion is, but I was informed of other useful reasons why and agenda is important. Also, sending out the agenda prior to the meeting not only lets members decide if they need/want to attend, but also gives everyone time to prepare for the meeting. With the extra prep time before the meeting helps ensure that the meeting is run in an effective and efficient manner.

This book is full of ways to help you get the most out of your meeting by simply using an agenda. Under the "Designing an Agenda" section you are guided to a zig zag graphic. I feel that the author needs to replace this with something else that is easier to follow. I feel that the zig zag pattern is too distracting. If you can get passed the loud pattern, the information listed is actually very beneficial to setting up your own agenda.

The author does a nice job of adding specific sections to the book of each item that was listed in the busy graphic. Another point of an agenda that I had left out of my planning, is to add breaks if the meeting is over 45 minutes. That sounds like an obvious thing to add to your agenda but many times it is left out.

During a long meeting, members really need that break so that the can refocus. If you are looking for ways to improve your agenda or to simply help you lead a more effective meeting then this is a must read! This book is stuffed full of helpful pointers that you may be overlooking. I would recommend this book to everyone that is leading or taking part in a meeting.
Gerard Cohen


Setting a Meeting Agenda - The best way to ensure that those attending your meeting are clear about its purpose is to send them an agenda in advance. Your communication should demonstrate that the focus of the meeting is for a specific reason and not just a broad general discussion.

Are Conference Calls a Productive Use of Your Time - Conference calls are becoming more and more common nowadays. Some companies even use them on a daily basis and for a variety of different functions. But are they truly helpful? We all know that they take up time and keep you tied to the phone for the duration…but do they really accomplish enough to make it worth the time?

An Effective Agenda is the Key to a Successful Meeting - Five simple questions will ensure that you and anyone in your team only attend meetings that have been properly prepared for and will be an effective use of your time. In turn, you can ask these same questions of your own meetings to ensure that they are productive activities and that everyone who comes is properly prepared for the meeting.

Encouraging Open and Honest Communication - Building a team that can thrive, even in this time of worldwide economic recession is a challenging task, to say the least. While several factors go into creating a successful team, communication is the foundation upon which every great team is built. Failure to communicate will undermine even the most qualified team, company, or organization.

Meetings Without Rules Turn Into Anarchy - A few simple rules can make all the difference between achieving your goal or not. Nowhere is this more evident than in meetings. By setting expectations appropriately everyone can share common values and behaviors .

Do Your Meetings Overrun or Go Off-topic - How many meetings have you attended where it has become an exercise in tedium and futility, rather than being a productive use of your knowledge and time? Too many too count. Is this how others describe your meetings how can you turn your meetings into efficient decision making exercises? The answer is 'preparation'.

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