If you’ve ever attended a meeting that went off the rails quickly, you know what a complete waste of time it was for everyone involved. The number one reason for ineffective meetings is having no fully developed meeting agenda in place. Designing a comprehensive meeting agenda not only ensures productivity, it shows team members and other attendees you honor their time.

In this blog post we’ll look at some of the best ways you can set a captivating meeting agenda so you set your team up for success.

Let’s dive in!


Create Agenda Questions – Not Topics

We’re all about thinking strategically at J.Shay Events. One of the things we’ve learned over the years is that when you populate your agenda with questions rather than topics, you begin to think critically and can focus on your ultimate desired outcomes.

As an example, instead of writing in the general (and lackluster) topic “Budgeting Concerns” you can pose the question, “How can we reduce spending by 20% by the end of the fiscal year?”

Instead of the topic, “Improving Customer Satisfaction,” you may want to consider a question such as, “How can we improve overall response time to customers by 30%?” 

“Miscellaneous Updates” becomes, “What information do team members need to share to help us reach our goals?”

Wham! Your meeting now serves to answer a set of very compelling questions. This makes it far easier for you to determine who belongs on your invitation list. 


There’s no formula for determining the right amount of questions to address in a meeting. What you should instead focus on is asking the RIGHT questions.  The meeting leader should begin this process by generating questions from their own vantage point. In addition, attendees should also be asked for input in creating agenda questions. Because meetings are collective experiences, it’s only natural to want to invite other voices into the mix. As an added bonus, by encouraging employees to partake in the creation of the meeting agenda, you ensure more engagement during the meeting itself.


Experience shows us that content at the beginning of an agenda receives disproportionate amounts of time and attention.  This means you need to put your most compelling questions at the beginning of your meeting. This will ensure you have the time to cover key issues, grab attendee attention, and convey value from the get-go.

Leverage a Meeting Management Platform

Platforms like Fellow and Hugo can help meeting organizers be more prepared and accountable. You can use these platforms to track meeting notes, stay organized and ensure your meeting runs as smoothly as possible. 


Once your meeting agenda has been created, share it with invitees as soon as possible. This gives everyone enough time to prepare so they can hit the ground running on the day of the meeting. 


The Wrap

Creating a captivating meeting agenda is as simple as answering compelling questions instead of discussing broad topics. A question-based agenda fosters engagement and better performance in meetings. If this approach is new to you, don’t be afraid to experiment and tweak as you go along. 

Need any help planning your next meeting? Give us a call. We help organizations plan effective meetings that help you reach your goals.


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