How to Handle Agendas in a Meeting (Part 2 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 is the second in our series on how to prepare and deliver an agenda for a large meeting or training. If you haven't listened to the first cast on the topic, we'd encourage you to do that first. You can find it here.

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Hello Mark and Mike! Thanks for the

Hello Mark and Mike!

Thanks for the second podcast on agendas! I have two questions about what you said:

How many breaks do you usually put into day-long or half-day-long meetings?

And about using colors: How would you do it? "Artistically" (kind of silly to do the rainbow if you ask me) or systematic like green for breaks, black for discussions and blue for presentations?


I used it yesturday for the first time

I used it yesturday for the first time and got lots of positive comments on the hand written agenda - We even sketch out a new one quickly after a concensus agreement to move one item.

As for colours I had 4 markers, black - blue - red and green. I used what ever came to hand but minimised the Red - technically red on white can be hard to see, and from a colour theory POV red implies certain things (emergency, fight, etc) that might or might not be appropriate (all colours have conotations but red more than the rest).

This posts are great ! Usefull and

This posts are great ! Usefull and directly usable information... Thanks.

I liked the idea of having the agenda just next to the clock (I had recently bought clocks for the company, but did not think about putting them next to the agenda !).

Two other thinks I like to do :
1) I have my OWN set of pens with me !
2) I have a "roll" of large synthetic sticky papers as I prefer them over a flipchart paper, because you easy carry them with you, and can stick them all around the walls.


Cédric, can you tell more abt the


can you tell more abt the "roll" brand and type?

thank you


Just listened to these back to

Just listened to these back to back.

Outstanding. Really.

This kind of detail, in the podcast format, saves me hours of very expensive, time consuming in-person training.

I LOVE the $3.50 clock.

Thank you!

Question about using hierarchical agenda

 Could you please give anything like recommendation for my case.

I'm preparing to present solution that our company (NN) propose to one of our potential customers.

And there are two questions so far I need help with, hopefully I haven't missed it in podcast, so:

1. Is there anything like "minimum reasonable" resolution of agenda items for 3 hrs-long meeting?

2. Plain one-level agendas versus hierarchical agenda:

I used to build plain agendas of one level like:



14:30 Introductions, review of meeting objectives and agenda

14:40 Background of the project and future plans by XX

14:55 Company NN and Branch MM overview by YY and ZZ

15:15 Proposal summary by DD

15:30 Technical part of the solution by D

15:50 Break for answering emails, missing phone calls, etc.

16:00 Management and HR part of the solution by D

16:25 Financial part of the solution by D

16:35 Break for X to prepare questions for Q&A session

16:45 Q&A session for X

17:30 Wrap-up and next steps



However, my peers states there is a lack of structure here and it does not make sense to put times as we have no control over it and propose to have a kind of table of content for the slides/presentation as agenda:


1. Introduction for All

2. Project goals, vision and status by XX

3. Company NN overview by YY

4. Presentation

4.1. Branch MM by ZZ

4.1.1. Structure and support

4.1.2. Methodology, tools and general approach

4.2. Proposal by DD

4.2.1. How the system will work technically, design choices

4.2.2. Working with Company NN in practice

4.2.3. Flexibility during development – handling changes in requirements

4.2.4. How we would approach subsequent phases, and keep costs under control for these

5. General discussion by All

6. Wrap-up / next steps by All


Please tell me - is there strong recommendation to avoid hierarchy in agendas and if yes, please help me with arguments.