How to Handle Agendas in a Meeting (Part 1 of 2)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I prepare an agenda?
  • How do I use an agenda in a meeting?
  • How do I present an agenda in a meeting?

This cast walks through how to prepare and deliver an agenda for a large meeting or training.

Agenda preparation is a lost art. We think of agendas as the skeleton of a good meeting. Sadly, too many meetings suffer from a lack of the structure that agendas provide. Meetings without agendas are usually terribly inefficient. Because they are [somewhat ;-)] time-bound, that inefficiency means ineffectiveness. And ineffectiveness is anathema to Manager Tools managers.

In this cast, we tell you what to do once you've prepared your agenda. (There's a separate cast for the details and rules around preparation).

Be a management artist: use agendas.

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Today's show really made my day! I

Today's show really made my day! I listened to it while riding to work, and applied your tips immediately, as I had to run a workshop that was scheduled for several hours. Particularly, the imperfect nature of the flipchart I had hastily prepared made the participants perceive it as their workshop rather than mine, and they were much more responsive and engaged than usually - just as you promised. One thing we added on the fly was to tick off the agenda items we had finished; I think it strongly promoted the feeling that we actually accomplished our objectives. Great stuff, guys!

Salute also to your remarks on the often questionable value of PowerPoint. It's a shame how ubiquitious this tool has become for all kinds of purposes it is clearly inappropriate for. I'm really looking forward to having more on this topic from you.

Glad it worked! What you did is what

Glad it worked! What you did is what we're all about: using this stuff!

And if you're a premium member, you already know what we're going to say next week!


This podcast seemed to me to be aimed

This podcast seemed to me to be aimed at longer meetings/workshops than the average 1 hour meeting. Is that correct?

GM62- Only partially so. Prepping


Only partially so. Prepping in advance, putting it on a flip chart, covering it at the start, and "selling" each item all work very well in 1 hour meetings.

People think there's not time...but that's part of the reason meetings are so painfully bad most times.

Some of the stuff we alluded is more suited to a 4 hour or 8 hour meeting..but still much of it DOES apply.