The Importance of Preparing A Business Meeting Agenda

business meeting agenda

Holding regular meetings is a must if you want your business to succeed. These gatherings allow you to share information, evaluate performance, discuss concerns, formulate solutions, and set goals with your team members. As such, you want to make sure that you’ve carefully prepared a business meeting agenda in advance.

Agendas are crucial to ensure that your meetings are engaging and productive. Without them, meetings risk being too time-consuming and participants will lose focus.

QualCare Alliance Network chief executive Annette Catino summed it up in a New York Times feature, by saying:

“Give me an agenda or else I’m not going to sit there… If I don’t know why we’re in the meeting, and you don’t know why we’re there, then there’s no reason for a meeting.”

Making your business meeting agenda work for you defines a meeting agenda as “a list of topics or activities you want to cover during your meeting.” It should help participants know what to expect during the meeting. It should also specify upcoming tasks along with who has been assigned to do them. Deadlines and time frames should be clear for everyone involved.

business meeting agenda

So how do you actually make the most of your business meeting agenda? We have several tips for you! Be sure to keep these in mind as you plan your upcoming meetings.

1. Start with a goal

Firstly, you will need to determine what exactly it is you are trying to achieve. This is always the initial step towards creating a good business meeting agenda.

With that, listing down topics to tackle and actions to take will be much easier. You’ll be able to stay focused as you prepare for the meeting. Stick with the subjects that affect the entire team.

2. Allocate appropriate time for each topic

After finalizing your agenda, make sure that each topic gets ample time during the meeting. If possible, be specific about how much time you’ll spend on each topic. This will allow you to maintain order and prevent running over the scheduled time.

business meeting agenda

Besides, Apple CEO Tim Cook believes that “the longer the meeting, the less is accomplished.”

3. Leave room for discussions

With that said, here’s a friendly reminder: Talking too much is a big mistake you can’t afford to make.

As you create your business meeting agenda, write questions you want to ask your team members. Conducting discussions gives you the chance to hear their reports and suggestions. In addition, ask them if they have any questions or concerns for you to address.  

Of course, have someone take note of everything that’s said so you don’t miss out on anything important.

4. Delegate

Virgin Group CEO and founder Richard Branson once said:

“If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you've got to learn to delegate.”

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Similarly, bestselling author John C. Maxwell pointed out:

“If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”

You need to train team members so they can be effective in their responsibilities. Delegating tasks could help them take their game to the next level. Just be ready to provide support as needed. Let them know that you are available and willing to help them out.

5. Don’t forget to recap

Typically, this is done twice during the meeting – at the beginning and towards the end. As you start, review the items discussed in the last meeting. Follow-up with team members to see if they’ve accomplished their assignments. In short, check for any progress and take note of further actions needed.

Also, be sure to recap items discussed before closing the meeting. This ensures that the entire team understands everything, and everyone is on the same page.

6. End with two questions

Harvard Business Review tells us that each business meeting agenda should include these two important questions: "What did we do well?” and “What do we want to do differently for the next meeting?”

As writer Roger Schwarz likewise pointed out in the same article:

“Investing five or ten minutes will enable the team to improve performance, working relationships, and team member satisfaction.”

Taking time to evaluate is always worth it.

Final thoughts

With a well-prepared business meeting agenda, you can expect to see improvements in how you conduct meetings. Just be sure to pick the right time and venue for your meeting to ensure that everyone is available.

If you’re in New York City and are looking for a good location for your meetings, here’s some good news. Come check us out here at The Farm SoHo and we bet we’ll meet (or even exceed) your expectations.

Our unique meeting rooms are polished and professional but still have the rustic charm we’ve always been known for. We also have the amenities you’ll need to help you have successful meetings. We offer access to our fast and reliable WiFi, printer, scanner, projector, screen, plus coffee, tea, and water.

Moreover, you can also check out our executive suites in NYC if you're interested.

To inquire or to book a tour, give us a call at (917) 722-5027 or send us an email via [email protected]. We’d be happy to accommodate you and your team!

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