Start with the end in mind – what is it that you are trying to achieve at this meeting? Is it a strategy session to look at market trends, a set monthly administrative meeting or perhaps developing action plans for membership growth?
Ensure attendees have the opportunity to suggest Agenda items but that they know the Chair is the person responsible for finalising the Agenda and keeping to it.
Beware of overloading the Agenda with “nice to” items. It is easy to have Agenda fatigue amongst attendees if they see an overly long or ambitious list of items in front of them.
Following on from this is the need to allocate realistic timeframes for discussion of Agenda items. Board papers should have been read prior to the meeting so that attendees are prepared for a discussion on the items. Again, if there are too many items to be able to devote focus to then Agenda fatigue can follow.
If there is a major item to discuss consider weighting the allocated timeframes towards this item so that attendees can recognise its importance. For example, beside each Agenda item put the allocated time frame for its discussion next to it i.e. – Finance report ( 10 min).
Tackle the main items first while people are still fresh – important & strategic topics where you can devote time and energy to them. Follow this with the standing Agenda items such as Finance report & Department reports.
Leave the confirmation of minutes of previous meeting and matters arising till last – this way they won’t be over focussed on nor have too much time spent on non-productive discussion about last months decisions.