Alix Renaut
 in  Meetings
5 minutes

How To Set an Effective Meeting Agenda

A meeting quickly becomes a black hole for productivity when there’s no clear agenda. 

An effective meeting agenda is well-structured, clear, and always shared in advance. It has a specific goal, clear objectives, key topics, and time durations to ensure a productive and focused meeting.

We know what you’re thinking: setting a successful meeting agenda is often easier said than done. Thankfully, Beekast is here to help! Let’s dive into some easy tips you can use to never hear the phrase, “This meeting could have been an email”, ever again. 

How to Create an Effective Meeting Agenda with Beekast

What does a good meeting agenda look like? 

Well, it all comes down to the type of meeting you’re organizing. A “one-on-one” will not have the same agenda as a “daily team meeting” since these are pretty different meeting formats!

However, no matter what meeting you decide on, there are 5 elements that you will find in every great meeting agenda:

Meeting Objective 🎯

First things first, identify the purpose of the meeting. Whether it’s for decision-making, problem-solving, or brainstorming, defining the objective will help you map out the next stages of your agenda.

The purpose is the big reason for the get-together, like starting a new project or sharing the latest company updates.

Then there are objectives, which are the concrete targets you want to hit during the meet-up, such as setting project roles or deciding on a launch date. Think of the purpose as the “why” and the objectives as the “what” we need to do.

Before sending out that calendar invite, nail down your meeting’s purpose in a simple sentence. Do this by asking yourself the three following questions:

  • What is the primary goal I wish to achieve with this meeting?
  • Who needs to be involved in this discussion for it to be successful?
  • What would be the desired outcome by the end of this meeting?

Defining a goal for your meeting also helps ensure you invite the right people to participate!

Key Topics 📋

Now that everyone knows why they’re here, list the important points or topics that must be discussed to achieve this objective.

To maintain focus and ensure that a meeting is productive, limiting the number of key topics is often helpful. A good rule of thumb is to have between three to five main points. This allows enough time to delve into each topic meaningfully without overwhelming attendees with too much information.

Tip: For shorter meetings, prioritize the most critical topic(s) to ensure there is sufficient time for in-depth discussion and actionable conclusions!

In order to really engage people, consider identifying these key topics collaboratively before the meeting. How? Use the Eisenhower Matrix template in Beekast and invite participants to join in and prioritize topics based on urgency and importance.

Sharing your agenda before the meeting with your team members will allow them to come prepared, potentially with valuable discussion points!

Meeting Duration ⏳

Remember the golden rule of any productive meeting: “We start on time, and we finish on time”.

Do this by communicating the meeting duration to participants and allocating a specific amount of time to each topic of the meeting. Beekast’s built-in timer lets you set specific time limits for each agenda topic, ensuring that no topic consumes too much of your meeting time.

  • Add a stopwatch to your activity to track how much time you’re spending on this task.
  • Add a timer to your activities in order to determine its duration. Once the timer runs out, the activity will automatically close. An easy and effective way to make sure you never go overtime! 

Resources 🗂️

Adding important files directly to your agenda keeps everything organized and easily accessible, saving valuable time during the meeting. Meeting participants can review the materials at their own pace before the meeting starts, leading to more meaningful contributions from everyone involved. 

Beekast has a “tabs feature” in Beekast that lets you share documents and information with your attendees before, during, and after your meetings.

Just remember, it’s key to share only the most relevant information to avoid information overload. By thoughtfully choosing what to include, you ensure that your meetings stay on track and everyone remains engaged!

Collect Feedback  🗓️

Don’t leave just yet! Your meeting agenda should always dedicate a few minutes to getting feedback in order to assess the effectiveness of your meeting. 

Use our Plus/Delta template to get this done fast. The activity will help you ensure that everyone’s time was well spent and gather ideas on what you can do to improve the next meeting.

Create a Meeting Report 📄

Once your meeting is over, download the minutes automatically on Beekast. It’s the perfect way to capture your notes and action items as they happen. Take a few minutes to review the minutes, add in more detail if needed, and then send the report to your meeting attendees!

Ensure your report provides details on the next meeting date, its objective, and who needs to accomplish what in advance of said meeting.

Beekast: Transform Your Meetings into Productive Sessions

Beekast ensures that your meeting is not just another event on the calendar, but a well-planned, interactive, and fruitful session for all participants. Don’t just take our word for it; try Beekast for free today!

Effective Meeting Agenda FAQs

Find answers to common questions about setting meeting agendas. 

1. What is a meeting agenda? 

A meeting agenda is an organized outline of topics and activities planned for discussion in a meeting, essential for steering the conversation and covering all key points efficiently.

2. What is the best format for a meeting agenda? 

The perfect meeting agenda is straightforward, with a start time, topic headings, time allocations, presenter names, and a clear end time. It can be adapted to suit different meeting types and is easily shareable and editable within meeting software solutions.

3. What are the benefits of having a meeting agenda?

Agendas maximize meeting productivity by keeping discussions focused, ensuring timely coverage of all topics, enabling participant preparation, fostering attendee engagement, and providing a documented plan for follow-up actions.