Using Agenda

  1. Get everyone’s agreement on the agenda before you begin the meeting.  Ask for any additions or changes from members so that everyone is unified around what will be discussed.  People feel more committed when their ideas are included and will be much less likely to interrupt or go off on tangents when they have already agreed on what the meeting will cover.
  2.  Most important agendas keep a meeting “on track.”  When participants start talking on and on about subjects not on the agenda, you can use the agenda as a tool to steer them back to the subject because they have agreed on the agenda.
  3.  Make sure when you make up your agenda that you include the time that will be spent on each agenda item and who will be presenting.  This will help people concentrate on ach section of the meeting.  Try to stick to your time limit as much as you can.  Once you have created expectations, you should do your best to follow through.
  4.  Try to have several people present different items so not one person dominates the meeting.  This also makes for a more interesting meeting.
  5.  With a clean agenda, everyone knows how much time they will need to commit to a meeting and what they roles are.  This can be helpful if you have members who complain about how long meetings last.  When the mystery is gone and members see things in black and white, they will be less anxious and more willing to participate.  Be careful not to take your members’ time for granted.
  6.  Agendas can help you keep track of what has been done and what needs to be done to follow up at the next meeting or in committee meetings. They are a good tool for future planning and provide good records for your organization.
  7.  Agendas can be an effective outreach tool.  Seeing a flyer with a detailed agenda will hook people in better than a general meeting announcement.  If the topics and time limits are clear, people who are interested in the topic will come.  If people know that the meeting will go on for 1 hour, they can plan their time realistically.