How To Create A Board Meeting Agenda (With An Example)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 5 July 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Meeting agendas guide the course of business meetings and help avoid unnecessary diversions. They are important in ensuring a high level of productivity and effective communication in all work sessions. Becoming proficient at creating and following focused agendas during meetings can help you enhance the participants' efficiency and derive positive results. In this article, we define a board meeting agenda, discuss its typical structure, outline its benefits, explain how to create one and share an example.
What Is A Board Meeting Agenda?
A board meeting agenda is a plan for the sequence of meeting activities, beginning with the call to order and ending with an adjournment. It also specifies the venue and time of the meeting. It tells you about the topics of discussion, such as reports, minutes of the previous meeting, and old and new plans. This typically ensures that the speakers can adequately address all topics and concerns, while the attendees can benefit from the available time.
Usually, a chairperson oversees the agenda and decides how much time to allot to each section. Nowadays, you can also use specialised software to create and manage such agendas digitally. This can save the board members' time, as they can get digital approvals and electronic signatures. All the participants can easily access the meeting and understand its plan and structure.
Structure Of A Typical Board Meeting Agenda
To understand the structure of a typical meeting agenda, it may be helpful to use an old agenda as a template. These documents usually follow a standard format or structure with minimal variations in terms of the basic information they present. Below are the sections you can find on a typical meeting agenda:
The first section on the meeting agenda is the heading. It typically contains the basic details of the meeting, including the company's name and address. It can also include the scheduled date and time of the meeting and its venue.
Call to order
A call to order is the official announcement that a meeting has begun. It is usually the chairperson who calls a meeting to order. This part of the meeting may include a roll call of the attendees, a brief introduction and a reading of a company's mission, vision and values. The meeting agenda typically indicates the time of the call to order.
Approval of the agenda
This is the step where board members receive the meeting agenda. They may peruse, consider and suggest changes to it if necessary. Once all members agree with the final agenda, the meeting can move on to the next step, which is the approval of the minutes.
Approval of the minutes
Before embarking on the agenda of the current meeting, it is important to discuss the minutes of the previous one. This can ensure that all the members are in alignment with the previous meeting's discussions and approvals. If anyone disagrees or feels that the minutes do not correspond to the actual events of the previous meeting, they may bring it up at this time. Once everyone has approved the minutes, the meeting can move on to the sharing of reports.
Reports are one of the most important elements of a board meeting. They can help board members reach meaningful conclusions regarding their business progress and achievement of previous goals, identify loopholes and setbacks and find meaningful solutions. Reports typically guide the rest of the meeting, as the attendees discover which matters require the most attention. Reports may also show how much team members have accomplished, and which teams still need to achieve their goals.
Usually, the executive director shares the first report. In this report, they may present the company's progress so far, together with their analysis of the developments in current activities and projects. They may share an assessment of the business outlook, stating what may be beneficial or challenging for it. This report also covers the most significant business objectives. The finance report is the next one. It usually helps board members to understand, interpret and identify financial advantages and threats.
This part of the board meeting encompasses the unresolved items from previous business discussions or activities. These may require further discussion or a vote from board members. The chairperson may pass on some of these items to committee members so they can examine them further.
In this section of the board meeting, members discuss new business opportunities and develop an action plan to benefit from them. They may either consider these opportunities during this time or put it off until a future date. They may also assign this topic to a relevant committee for further exploration.
Comments and announcements
At this juncture of the meeting, board members might commend the achievements and success of their team members and committees, express condolences and relay any other important information. Attendees may also provide their inputs regarding future strategies and action plans. They can also offer suggestions for the next meeting. In this section, you can cover anything that you didn't address during the rest of the meeting.
A board meeting ends with the chairperson announcing the adjournment. The secretary may note the time at which the meeting ended. The group may decide on a suitable date and time for the next meeting so that everyone can put it in their diaries or calendars.
Benefits Of Having A Meeting Agenda
A meeting agenda can play an important role in ensuring a smooth flow and adequate coverage of relevant topics during a board meeting. By knowing what exactly to expect during the meeting, participants can prepare for it accordingly. This can greatly enhance their productivity before, during and after the meeting. As board members meet periodically, usually once a year or once every few months, it is important to cover everything of concern during this time. Having a solid board agenda can help prevent overlooking important issues.
How To Create An Effective Board Meeting Agenda
Here are some tips on how you can create a highly effective agenda for your next board meeting:
1. Organise your agenda
Having an organised meeting agenda can channel meetings in the right direction and lead to more desirable outcomes. It can help you have more useful discussions on relevant topics and eliminate the issues that committees can handle. Explain the aim of the meeting to the attendees so that they know how to prepare for it and what the expectations are. This may help to allot a time limit to each section according to its importance.
2. Avoid an information overload
A board meeting can be more effective if its attendees discuss only the most pressing concerns and important topics. Be selective in your approach and choose the topics that require the most immediate attention and that have the biggest impact on the business. Assign other topics to the committees that can take care of them.
3. Elicit input and feedback
During the comments and announcements section, members can offer their feedback, suggestions and inputs. This may help you formulate a better meeting agenda in the future. It can also encourage the members to participate more enthusiastically and ensure that you don't overlook anything of relevance.
4. Share your meeting agenda in advance
Share your meeting agenda with the attendees in advance to make sure they are available at the stipulated hour. If they know the topics for discussion, they can prepare to furnish the required details, documents and reports during the meeting. They may also formulate meaningful questions beforehand. Attach any important documents or files pertaining to the meeting agenda so that the attendees may go through them in advance.
Board Meeting Agenda Example
Use the following example as a guide when creating your own meeting agenda:
B-Wing, Origami IT Park,
June 13, 2022
Time: 10:30 am
MetaEstate Conference Hall
B-Wing, Origami IT Park,
I. Call to order
II. Confirmation of the agenda
III. Approval of the minutes
public affairs and marketing committee
V. Old business
VI. New business
upcoming special occasion
VII. Remarks, announcements and official statements
Next session date: August 10, 2022
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