Even a Simple Plan is Better than No Plan
Planning a meeting can take as little time as just a few minutes. The return on investment will be time saved and objectives achieved. The steps to follow are quite simple:
- What's the purpose - what must be achieved?
- Who needs to be at the meeting?
- What ideas need to be discussed?
- What will be the style of the meeting?
Once you've considered these questions you are ready to formulate your agenda.
Planning a Meeting Using a Mapping Tool
Mapping tools can help you work through the process and produce a finished meeting plan ready for circulation. The example that follows uses MindGenius.
First, jot down the purpose and key ideas.
Next open a new map and use the Brainstorm feature to identify the discussion subjects (click on the image to see an enlarged view). If you want, consult others for their ideas and add them to the map.
Categorise the ideas (in this example: Quick; Major; Minor) and create a category centric map to provide the basis of the agenda.
Add timings (here I've used the 'Resources' feature to create labels for '10 mins'; 20 mins' and so on). Top and tail the agenda items with an introduction and a meeting close (click on the image to see an enlarged view).
Use cut and paste to combine the agenda items with the meeting purpose and ideas. Add notes for any materials, papers or data that might be needed (click on the image to see an enlarged view).
When you are ready send the agenda map to the attendees (as a map file, PDF or a Word version created by exporting the map).
For more on planning effective meetings click on the 'meetings' tab below or visit the 'Effective Meetings' group at Biggerplate.
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