According to a study from Harvard Business Review, 7 out of 10 managers said meetings are inefficient and unproductive.
Maybe you have experienced such a meeting too. In the digital era, with more people than ever working remotely, meetings play a central role in the progress of the work. Companies that can run engaging meetings are those that win.
So… how do we take meetings from “meh” to magical?
Apart from a meeting software solution helping lubricate the nuts and bolts of a meeting, you can use a meeting agenda template to bring structure and help everyone stay on track.
In this article, we’ll give you ready-made simple meeting agenda templates that you can start using today. Let’s dive in!
We’ve all experienced those endless meetings running around in circles or monologue-like meetings with low engagement that could have been summarized in an email.
Meetings can be incredibly valuable – but they always come with the tradeoff of putting productive output work on pause.
Here are our best tips for a good meeting agenda:
Regardless of the format of the meeting, there are a few steps you can follow when writing a meeting agenda. Start experimenting with these to see what works for you and your team!
First and foremost – why are you having the meeting? Could the information be distilled down to an email, or would a meeting be the most beneficial format? Step one in writing a meeting agenda is thus to identify a clear objective.
When you know the objective of the meeting, it’s time to decide upon which format is best suited. It’s important that the participants know the type of meeting beforehand. Just imagine the feeling of being invited to what you thought was a team meeting but turned out to be a performance review..!
It can be helpful to ask the participants for input and questions beforehand to increase engagement. That way, everyone feels like they’re contributing, and what’s on one person’s mind is likely to be something others have wondered as well.
Here, you list all the questions to be covered or points to address. If the list starts to get really long, consider hosting several meetings instead to keep everyone’s attention for the duration of the meeting.
Meetings are a collaborative effort meant to solve a number of workplace challenges. Each point in the template should thus have a clear purpose. The purpose can be to
Managing meetings and making sure they don’t go over time can be challenging. Knowing which category each question falls into makes it easier to stay efficient and know when to move on to the next point.
This makes for even more efficient meetings. It does require a thorough understanding of the topics at hand from you as a manager/meeting host – don’t be afraid of asking the participants for an estimation if you’re not an expert in the topic.
Are you covering all the topics, or are the participants responsible for the distinct points? Make sure you know who is in charge of what ahead of the meeting.
A summary of the topics covered helps participants remember the key points and know where to go.
We know you’re short of time and eager to get started with more efficient meetings now. So here are some meeting agenda templates to copy and paste for your own needs.
The below simple meeting agenda templates are tailored to common types of meetings. Happy meetings!
A first job interview is for you as the recruiter and the candidate to get to know each other and mutually assess whether you want to proceed with the hiring process. Note that this meeting agenda template is for an initial interview and not technical interviews, where the aim is to evaluate the candidate’s skills.
Important to think about during an interview is to listen, establish yourself as the leader by deciding the pace of the interview, and notice the candidate's overall body language and energy.
Meeting agenda template interview
After the intro, you can use the following questions:
Then, give them a breather by sharing about
Work environment-related questions:
To wrap up:
If you use Airgram for your interviews, the whole conversation will be recorded and transcribed so that you can stay focused on what you’re talking about instead of being busy taking notes. It’s also easy to refer back to the interview if you forgot the answer to a key point – that way, you avoid awkward follow-up calls.
A basic meeting template can be used for meetings that don’t fall under any of the other categories.
Meeting agenda template basic meeting
Note: Action items for meetings can be automatically assigned using a meeting software like Airgram. Airgram allows for easy task assignment to participants and exportation to standard notetaking software like Notion, Google Docs, and MS Word.
Daily standups are a common form of meeting for software projects working with agile methods/scrum methodology. This implies working on sprints and finishing tasks within a sprint (usually 1-2 weeks).
The meeting is often held as a brief round-table update (15 minutes) in the morning. Standing up is intentional to create a certain level of discomfort and urge participants to quickly get to the point.
The aim is not deep discussions or long-term planning – but to assure everyone is on the same page, is keeping up, and solves any problems or issues. Problem-solving in daily standups is often a quick procedure due to the frequent nature of the meetings.
You can download or open the daily standup template directly here. Alternatively, copy and paste these questions:
Meeting agenda template daily standup
Weekly team meetings evaluate last week’s performance and align everyone with the overall mission and goals for the coming week.
Download your weekly team meeting template here for free in MS Word, Google Doc, Notion, or Adobe, or use the below outline:
Meeting agenda template weekly team meeting
Performance review of last week:
Priorities this week:
When working with scrum methodology, the entire project is divided into chunks called sprints. A sprint planning meeting kicks off a new sprint and is usually held every week or every other week.
During such a meeting, the product owner, scrum master, and scrum team decide upon the overall goal for the coming sprint. They review the sprint retrospective meeting closing the last period (see below) and break down the overall goal into items with specific assignees.
The sprint retrospective is held after a finished sprint and is the period. The difference is that a sprint review focuses on product improvements, while a sprint retrospective is centered around process improvements.
Meeting agenda template sprint planning
The last sprint retrospective meeting
Product backlog items
As mentioned above, a sprint review meeting closes a sprint. Developers demonstrate the new features they have worked on. Key stakeholders such as end users are welcome to participate.
Meeting agenda template sprint review
A one-on-one meeting is held with a manager or team leader and an employee. The goal is primarily to provide a trusted platform to exchange feedback, and secondary, to check how the work is going. Alignment with long-term visions and goals is also part of a one-on-one meeting.
Meeting agenda template one-on-one
Mention at least one recent win or accomplishment that you’re proud of
A performance review is held on a less frequent basis than many other types of meetings. It’s usually organized quarterly, twice a year, or yearly and aims to evaluate performance as a basis for salary estimation.
Different templates can be used. Here, we’ll go with a self-assessment form that encourages employees to reflect upon their achievements, and hopefully keep that behavior during the coming period.
Meeting agenda template performance review
These questions can be applied in different areas, such as technical skills, communication, collaborative skills, and so on. Employees can also be asked to rate the performance of their colleagues and managers.
A brainstorm is a more free-flowing form of meeting where team members can come up with new, creative ideas and solutions.
Meeting agenda template brainstorm
A successful project management meeting leaves everyone motivated and ready to keep working together toward the common goal. It’s usually held with project managers and key stakeholders.
Meeting agenda template project management
Since stakeholders often have a busy schedule, Airgram can make your project management meetings run smoothly and efficiently. Live transcription keeps everyone engaged, and time stamps make sure you’re moving forward and have time to cover everything.
A meeting starts well ahead of its official start time and date. There’s work to do before and after to ensure the meeting actually increases productivity and thus generates more revenue.
That said, it doesn’t have to be complicated. These simple free meeting agenda templates take out the guesswork and assist you in the prep work.
Copy and paste the template of your choice and notice the difference. For even more free templates in different formats, check out this page. Here’s to running powerful, efficient meetings that everyone appreciates (yes, even Karen at the UK department!).