Proper Format for Meeting Agendas

The purpose of a meeting agenda is to ensure that attendees have an idea of where the discussion is headed. It also provides a time frame so that everyone involved knows when the meeting will wrap up. Create a quick meeting agenda template in the right format so that all you have to do is update it for each session.

List Format

When writing a meeting agenda, you must format it in a numeric and alphabetic list in order of events. The standard format has the word “Agenda” at the top of the page. Under "agenda," write the company name, date and time of the meeting. Each main item on the agenda is proceeded by a number or roman numeral as follows: “I. Introduction, II. Correspondence.” Under each main category, add more detailed descriptions preceded by a letter in alphabetical order. Here is an example: “a. General Introduction, b. Introduction of New Members.” Continue this sequence for all agenda items and descriptions.

Outline

The basic outline for a meeting agenda is, first, the introduction, followed by the minutes from the previous meeting (recital and approval), reports, new business, discussion items (in order of importance) and the closing. This is a basic guideline for an agenda — of course, you can add your own items in the order you prefer.

Time Estimates

You should also include time estimates for each item on your agenda. Use time blocks in minutes or hours, using realistic estimates. The parliamentarian of the meeting (usually a secretary or manager) can then use these guidelines to keep the meeting on track. So, for instance, you might add “3 minutes” next to the introduction line item and “15 minutes” under each item up for discussion.

Responsibilities

In addition to the meeting time estimates, also include the name of the person who is responsible for leading each discussion. If you or the manager is the only person who plans to conduct the meeting, this is unnecessary. But if you have different team members assigned to each task on the agenda, include the names. For instance, if a secretary is giving the minutes, include her name next to that item on the list.