You’ve identified the key stakeholders for the issue at hand, you’ve investigated the London meeting room hire possibilities, and your invitations have been sent. The only thing that remains is to write an agenda that will steer the group through a discussion of the most important issues at hand and ensure you generate the results you need to steer your business or department forward into a successful future.
Writing an agenda is an art in itself: it’s the agenda that ensures the important issues get discussed, and it gives the chair a valuable tool to keep the discussion on track. There are always personalities in any meeting who will range off the track and raise points that are, regardless of their worth, not relevant in that context. Having a tightly written agenda means you can get the meeting back to the issue in hand without wasting too much time!
Today we’re presenting a short guide on how to write the agenda that will keep you on the straight and narrow, and keep your attendees happy as well as productive!
Getting Buy In
Nothing annoys people more in a meeting than feeling their voices aren’t being heard. And if you’re not listening, then you aren’t running meetings well! You’re there to gather opinions and data from the best people in your team, not simply tell them what to do.
If people come to your meeting and don’t have the chance to raise points they feel are important, you’ll find it gets harder and harder to manage your meetings effectively. People will either disengage entirely or you’ll find discussions wandering and your any other business section growing bloated and exhausting.
To combat this, solicit for agenda points from your attendees a few days in advance. This gives them the chance to contribute points for discussion but just as importantly, gives you the chance to control their expectations. If someone obviously wants to discuss a topic that doesn’t fit with you want to achieve, you can contact them to let them know, and even suggest a better time to raise it. This ensures they won’t feel ignored, and you can keep your meeting on topic!
The longer a meeting goes on the less likely it is you’ll actually get something productive about it. Even the best attention span can only be stretched so far.
Decide what your meeting is about: is it to tackle a specific issue facing your business, a weekly catch up on specific performance indicators, or to allow high level managers to share their ideas? Set 3 – 5 discussion points that are specific related to that issue and resist the urge to let it balloon. Once you’ve factored in feeding back on actions from the previous meeting and any other business, you’ll have a tight, productive half hour that will really show results!