An agenda is a simple list of topics to be discussed (in order of listing), along with the names of individuals who have agreed to lead discussion of those topics. An agenda helps focus a meeting on a core of topics and allows you to control the pace and flow of a meeting and identify important items to be acted upon. Meetings without published agendas generally seem unfocused and unproductive.
Prepare and circulate an agenda of items to be discussed for each meeting. Circulation of an agenda before a meeting will allow your audience to consider their responses to items listed and will help stimulate discussion. Agendas may be circulated by e-mail or hard copy. The advantage of hard-copy agendas is that they may be brought to a meeting to facilitate the taking of notes during discussion. Experienced meeting leaders recognize that both hard-copies and electronic copies of agenda are usually misplaced, so they bring enough copies for everyone present at the meeting.
Here is an example of an agenda.
Development Team Agenda
- Report by B. Perez on investigation of possible security software
- Report by S. Chan and P. Stanley on development of database prototypes
- Discussion of possible hardware platforms
- Review of deadlines for project
- Agenda for next meeting