Searching for free meeting agenda templates? You’ve come to the right place!
We know that you've either experienced how chaotic it is to not have an agenda for a meeting or read an article about the importance of meeting agendas and wanted to explore free agenda templates. Or the worst scenario ever, you've been searching for a free meeting agenda template, only to find that they aren't free or include many steps to download (we promise this isn't the case here). So, let's explore what we have and how to craft the perfect meeting agenda template.
One more thing, besides offering you free meeting agenda template, we've decided this article should be comprehensive by including everything there is about agenda format, with examples of meeting agendas.
What is a meeting agenda?
A meeting agenda is essentially a guide to how a meeting will go. The clearer and more well-constructed the guide is, the more effective the meeting will be.
The guide consists of two essential elements: topics and time dedicated to each topic. When you spend enough time planning the agenda, you will select clear and relevant topics and know exactly how much time you need to spend on each.
Setting a meeting agenda is important for meeting facilitators/managers as well as the meeting attendees. To have a productive meeting, you need to share the meeting agenda with the attendees beforehand. This will allow time for the attendees to prepare and contribute to the agenda if needed.
Why meeting agendas are important?
Harvard Business Review in its article “Stop the Meeting Madness” mentions that business executives spend nearly 23 hours a week in meetings as opposed to less than 10 hours in the 1960s. And most of those meetings are off-track in terms of time, discussed topics, or both.
Each minute spent on unproductive meetings eats away from everyone's productivity. You'll also notice negative patterns displayed, such as trying to reschedule meetings, coming late to meetings, showing no interest during meetings, and many side discussions.
How you hold meetings affects how employees collaborate and how they monitor progress and get the job done. Productive meetings ensure that everyone is on the same page and boost positive work culture and relationships. However, you don’t need to sacrifice your own time and mental health for meetings.
Just like strong buildings have a powerful base, a well-thought-out meeting agenda is how productive meetings come to be, and here's why.
A meeting agenda can make you change your mind about scheduling the meeting
Having a clear idea about the purpose of the meeting usually starts by setting an agenda. A meeting agenda can make you realize that your 30-minute meeting can be replaced with an email or a quick update via a messaging app. And this shows how considerate you are about everyone's time.
Effective meeting agendas help you set clear expectations
In meetings, setting boundaries/expectations is of utmost importance to prevent you going off track. A meeting agenda sets clear expectations about what is going to be discussed and tells everyone that only the topics included in the agenda will be discussed.
However, you can write down anything that comes up in your meeting minutes and refer to it later, either at the end of the meeting, if time allows, or at the next meeting.
Establishing action items is easier with a meeting agenda
A great list of action items is the outcome of an effective meeting that had a well-thought-out meeting agenda. Clear and reasonable action items increase productivity and keep everyone informed of expectations.
What is the information typically included in meeting agendas?
To easily create a meeting agenda, start with the common information that is typically included in any agenda. You can have the following as a checklist to go through when creating an agenda:
- Names and number of the attendees
- Time of the meeting
- Place of the meeting (virtual/physical/hybrid)
- The goal of the meeting
- Welcoming the attendees and explaining how the meeting will go
- Action items to complete before the next meeting
- Wrapping up and summarizing key decisions
- Dedicating time for questions from attendees
- Meeting assessment, if needed
➕ Extra bonus. Have you tried sending a thank you email to the attendees after the meeting is finished?
How to craft effective meeting agendas?
Now that you know the common items to include in a meeting agenda, let's dig deeper into crafting good meeting agendas.
If an email serves the purpose, there's no meeting agenda
This one probably goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. The first thing you need to consider is knowing whether a meeting should be held or not, and this is what makes a good meeting agenda. Meetings that could have been emails or messages via Slack and similar apps have the weakest agendas.
We obviously love meetings, and we know you do too; there’s nothing better than personal interactions. But at times, they're not the right solution to an issue. “This could’ve been an email” meetings can be a burden and show you as someone inconsiderate of other people’s time. Your meeting objectives should be clear.
So, the next time you face an issue, just pause for a moment, and ponder on “let's set up a meeting,” versus “I'll send you an email” or “I'll message you.”
And that takes us to our next point, which is including your participants' input before creating a meeting agenda.
Seek input to select relevant topics
Input from the participants = an engaging meeting. It's as simple as that. You should look at meetings, not from your viewpoint but from the participants'. What you deem as essential might end up making an unproductive meeting.
Reach out to the meeting participants a few days before the meeting and ask them to suggest agenda items along with a reason why each item needs to be addressed. This will ensure that you have perfect insight on what needs to be discussed and you’ll also avoid having attendees sitting through an entire meeting that is irrelevant to their jobs.
Moreover, collaborating with the participants to create your agenda will encourage meaningful participation.
Another thing you need to consider is that if you decided not to include a suggested item, you need to explain why to the person who suggested it.
Dedicate enough time for each topic
The purpose of allocating time for each topic isn’t to stop the discussion in its tracks when time is up. It is to have a defined frame for each topic so that each participant tries their best to keep their answers short and to the point without any fluff. This will help avoid frustration and poor decision making.
To allocate time for each item, you will need to follow a roadmap for reaching decisions and creating a list of action items: (1) the facilitator/meeting owner introduces the topic; (2) the participants answer questions, (3) resolve different viewpoints, and (4) come up with potential solutions; (5) participants vote on decisions and create action items.
💡Pro Tip. While this may seem like it'll take forever, using an all-in-one meeting management software, like adam.ai, will help reduce the time needed for meetings. adam.ai combines superb features in an easy-to-use, user-friendly interface: you can allocate time for each agenda item (with a timer next to each item), take notes in real-time, vote on decisions in the meeting place, and create action items.
Check out how ABY group, a Spanish digital marketing company, led by their talented CEO Enrique Aldaz, boosted meeting productivity by 60% and drove accountability in their teams using adam.ai.
Continuously improve your meeting agendas
As your meeting comes towards an end, you’ll find yourself seeking feedback from participants even if you didn’t include that part in your agenda. We suggest you dedicate time for feedback; investing five to ten minutes to collect feedback will improve participants satisfaction and enhance the meetings' productivity.
Two questions are the core of the meeting improvement process: what was done well and what needs to be different for the next meeting.
Harvard Business Review suggests the following questions to consider when seeking feedback:
1. Was the agenda distributed in time for everyone to prepare?
2. How well did team members prepare for the meeting?
3. How well did we estimate the time needed for each agenda item?
4. How well did we allocate our time for decision-making and discussion?
5. How well did everyone stay on topic? How well did team members speak up when they thought someone was off topic?
6. How effective was the process for each agenda item?
Free, effective meeting agenda template examples
Here is what you came here searching for: a comprehensive list of different meeting agenda templates that will help you craft your meeting agenda in no time. They're free, editable, and inclusive. You can download each one of them in one step.
💡Pro Tip. Use the templates in adam.ai for maximum benefit. You can add notes and comments while discussing the agenda; add sub-agenda items and attach files; edit, delete, re-order agenda items inside the meeting room; set a timer for each agenda item; and much more.
Want to know more? Check out this one-minute video on how to create a meeting agenda on adam.ai.
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Board meeting agenda template
The purpose of board meeting agendas is improving communication and effectiveness across the board members.
It includes an extensive list of topics such as discussing certain issues, making decisions, hiring new calibers, planning, revamping, evaluating performance, and so on and so forth.
Here is a preview of some of the items that should be included in the board meeting agenda; download the complete meeting agenda template from the below link.
III. Agenda Approval Time
Approving as is or suggesting topics to be discussed and then approved
IV. Minutes Approval Time
Approving the previous meeting’s minutes if it has not been approved yet
o Reports from the CEO, financial department, committees, staff leads, and other relevant
o X Committee:
o Y Committee:
o Z Department:
Download your inclusive, free, and customizable board meeting agenda template in one step.
Team meeting agenda template
Team meeting agendas have several purposes. They help track progress on tasks, ensure that everyone is on the same page, and enhance communication across the team.
Here is a preview of some of the items that should be included in the team meeting agenda; download the complete meeting agenda template from the below link.
III. Meeting Objective
Any supporting material that members need to have access to or view before/during the meeting
Tasks that participants need to prepare before the meeting + task owner’s name
Download your inclusive, free, and customizable team meeting agenda template in one step.
Sales team meeting agenda template
A sales team meeting is an internal meeting, held physically or online, between the salespeople and their leader at a company. A sales team meeting is different from an external sales call or a sales pitch to a client outside the company.
Attendees in a sales team meeting usually meet to discuss important updates, sales performance and expectations, roadblocks and support needed, and other priorities and insights.
Here is a preview of some of the items that should be included in the sales team meeting agenda; download the complete meeting agenda template from the below link.
IV. Metrics and General Review
- Have we met sales objectives for Q3?
- Has the sales team achieved the set KPIs?
- New metrics and trends to be aware of
- Customer feedback and market influences to consider
V. Individual Reports
- Deals status
- Leads feedback
- Outreach progress
VI. Positive Updates and Wins
- Celebrate wins
- Numbers of deals closed in Q2
- Milestones accomplished in Q2
- Reflect on lessons learnt from customers’ feedback
Download your inclusive, free, and customizable sales team meeting agenda template
Quarterly planning meeting agenda template
A quarterly planning meeting is held to plan a short-term strategy for the coming quarter, that's, for sure, an inseparable part of the long-term annual strategy.
During such quarterly meetings, leaders and top management review progress metrics and look into previous quarter's performance. Based on that, they decide what adjustments need to be done in order to reach the company's goals.
Afterwards, as always, heads and team leaders follow up with task owners on decisions made and actions taken at the meeting.
Here is a preview of some of the items that should be included in the quarterly planning meeting agenda; download the complete meeting agenda template from the below link.
IV. Welcome and Opening Session
- Explain why the meeting is being held
- Agree on how the meeting will proceed
- Set expectations for the meeting
V. Previous Quarter
- Compare past results with the plan
- Discuss efficiency of the allocated budget and time
- Carry unfinished business over to the next quarter
VI. Annual Plan
- Review the overall annual plan
- Do we need to adjust our plan?
- Do we need to adjust our goals?
Download your inclusive, free, and customizable quarterly planning meeting agenda template.
Standup meeting agenda template
The goal of standup meetings is to set the context for the day through knowing who is doing what, priorities versus what can wait, and what outstanding obstacles and questions need to be addressed.
Team members go over tasks that are completed, in progress, or about to be started.
Here is a preview of some of the items that should be included in the standup meeting agenda; download the complete meeting agenda template from the below link.
If the meeting will include spectators, make sure to ask them to postpone their questions to after the meeting to keep it time-boxed at 15 minutes.
Keeping the meeting to eight or fewer people can help you run an effective standup meeting.
- Names of all those who are physically/virtually invited:
- Meeting facilitator(s):
The duration is usually no more than 15 minutes to avoid lengthy discussion and keep the conversation brisk but to the point.
IV. Meeting Objective
To increase team commitment and coordinate efforts through knowing who is doing what, priorities versus what can wait, and what outstanding obstacles and questions need to be addressed.
It is important to mention that the standup meetings are not done for the purpose of solving problems. When issues are raised, they are usually dealt with immediately after the meeting by the relevant people.
Download your inclusive, free, and customizable standup meeting agenda template in one step.
Status meeting agenda template
The purpose of status meetings is keeping everyone aligned, ensuring that tasks are in progress, enabling more familiarization with team members, breaking down tasks and projects into checkpoints, and increasing team engagement.
Here is a preview of some of the items that should be included in the status meeting agenda; download the complete meeting agenda template from the below link.
III. Meeting Objective
To communicate the project status across departments and acknowledge any roadblocks
IV. Acknowledging Achievements and Highlighting Changes
- Give everyone a minute or two to read the reports if they hadn’t
- Acknowledge big achievements and thank those involved
- Highlight changes in the project, such as changes in the timeline
Download your inclusive, free, and customizable status meeting agenda template in one step.
First meeting with new team agenda template
The first meeting with your new team is critical. Not only does it set the tone for future meetings, but it also sets expectations for you, as a manager, and the whole team.
The meeting agenda should cover the following:
- Your team members' experience: it is best if you give time for each team member to describe their background, history, and capabilities.
- Your team members' roles: in the meeting, outline who is responsible for what and who reports to who.
- Your expectations for the team: the meeting is an opportunity to set the objectives for the team, how often they should meet, and how you can track their progress.
- Give the team a chance to ask questions.
Here is a preview of some of the items that should be included in the first meeting with new team agenda; download the complete meeting agenda template from the below link.
II. Allow me to introduce myself
The best first impression you can make as a manager is through being yourself and showing humility.
Here are some points to consider:
- Keep it short
- Show the real you
- Discuss your personal and professional background
- Share your personal interests
- Share your work style: what you stand for, your communication style, and your vision for the team
III. Tell me about you
Discover your team. Whether you are a new manager for a new team or an existing team, dedicate time in your meeting to discover your team member’s work styles.
Consider the following questions to inspire you:
For existing teams
- What do you want to change in this team?
- What do you not want to change in this team?
- See more in the template...
For new teams
- What’s been your favorite project to work on this year (or last)? Why?
- Which excites you the most about working in the company?
- See more in the template...
Download your inclusive, free, and customizable status meeting agenda template in one step.
Brainstorming meeting agenda template
A brainstorming meeting is a session, physical or online, where one or multiple team(s) meet to generate new ideas. These ideas could be a solution to a problem or for a new project that needs to come out in its best shape.
When a need arises, a brainstorming meeting could be held at any time with anyone in any place — creativity knows no boundaries.
Here is a preview of some of the items that should be included in the brainstorming meeting agenda; download the complete meeting agenda template from the below link.
- Papers and pens
- Post-it notes
- Online tools
- Break the ice (How’s life? What are you having for dinner today? Any plans for the weekend?
- Lay down the rules of the meeting
- Toss the problem we are trying to solve
- Brainstorm ideas
- Take votes
- Select most suitable ideas
Download your inclusive, free, customizable brainstorming meeting agenda template in one step.
To sum up, this article covered the definition of a meeting agenda and its importance and the best practices to craft an effective meeting agenda. We also introduced a comprehensive list of free meeting agenda template samples to help you craft powerful agendas.
We've also touched down on how invaluable it is to use meeting agendas in an all-in-one meeting management software, like adam.ai.
adam.ai has all the right features to run successful meetings; it can help you manage your entire meeting's workflow from preparing, running, following up, and reporting. Make use of our free trial and manage your meetings using adam.ai.