Welcome!ResourcesTraining Notes − TN61 Mapping out a meeting

First published on this website in June 2011 and last updated in May 2013

Words: 2000
Size: 143 kB
Categories: Communication , Structures


These notes provide nine pieces of advice for preparing good agendas for business meetings.

  1. Think MAP not LIST
  2. Follow the rules
  3. Make it feel good
  4. Group and order items to help the meeting flow
  5. Clarify each action required
  6. Provide sufficient background information
  7. Beware timed agendas
  8. Let the agenda speak of Jesus Christ
  9. Decide who prepares the agenda

Of value to those who chair meetings, those who set agendas and all who meet for business.


Here is the link to this item: PDF tn61.pdf


These notes were updated in May 2013 with minor alterations throughout the text.

Well, let's try it. It's easy to do and here are the lists for Articles, Training Notes and Health-checks in reverse order (but I feel they need to stay in correct order on the other index pages). Is this what others would like or not? Let me know by direct email please.

I like the idea of an agenda as a MAP - or rather as a ROUTE through a landscape which has in it other places (good and bad) where you are NOT going.
Although I agree that TIMED ITEMS on an agenda are probably not a good thing, I do think an agenda is also a TIMETABLE of a sort - there are some things which must be achieved by a certain time. Pressure is much decreased if we are not always discussing something urgent or making decisions in a hurry at the last minute.

John, perhaps this is too much to ask - but I wonder if it is possible to put MOST RECENT items at the TOP of your lists - then we don't always have to scroll down to them.

thank you.

Really helpful to have these comments and to hear of actual experiences. Worth remembering too that sub-groups can consist of two or three people and no more.

A good reminder of how planning ahead of a meeting can make a massive difference to the feel and delivery of the meeting. Our finance team recently discovered that prayer even ahead of the meeting gave the space required to hear from God a passage of scripture which they shared and discussed but couldn't see its relevance. Then half-way through the meeting "Wham" - God suddenly revealed the reason the scripture.
I think we all need the occasional reminder that the more you plan and prepare the more likely the outcome, but it's never a replacement for starting from the position of stopping and seeking God as to what He wants to do with your meeting. It's sad though that I reckon everyone throws out an agenda a couple of days before or not at all and reaps the consequences...

Definately agree that to finish at the agreed time, you have to plan what can be talked about and can't keep adding things in. It helps if all participants can agree what can be devolved to a sub-committee and therefore doesn't require the explicit consideration by the main council/committee!

Feedback, positive and negative, on ideas attempted always appreciated. And do add new ideas too in the light of experience.

I have just read this and feel quite inspired to get on with the Agenda for the upcoming PCC meeting!
I think I will add the brief description as suggested to the Agenda items so that members will have a brief outline of what it is about and what we hope to achieve. I will let you know how this goes and if it helps the meeting 'flow'.
With thanks