Meeting agenda and preparation key to a successful meeting

Silverstream Retreat offer a wide variety of meeting facilities, from small intimate meetings to large high profile meetings. With our state-of-the-art multimedia facilities, superior lighting, air-conditioning and heating systems all set in a beautiful contemporary space.

For those of you who are planning a meeting we’ve put together information about running a meeting. Running an effective meeting can save time and help you achieve your goals. Having an agenda and meeting preparation in place can ensure the smooth running of a meeting.

Meeting Preparation

To ensure a smooth running and successful meeting:

  • Make sure an appropriate meeting time and meeting space is confirmed and any specific requirements such as presentation equipment or catering requirements are booked ahead.
  • A notice of the meeting should be sent out in advance to enable people to make arrangements to attend.
  • Documents such as the ‘Agenda’, most recent ‘Minutes’ and any other required reading should be sent to meeting attendees to give them time to read.

Meeting Roles and Processes

Meeting attendees should know ahead of the meeting what their roles are and what they need to do to ensure the meeting is a success.


This is the person responsible for facilitating the smooth running of meetings – they;

  • Guide the meeting procedure and make sure the meeting starts on time.
  • Welcome members and organise an appropriate opening, and introductions.
  • List any agreed ground rules.
  • Read and call for apologies.
  • Where appropriate, advise of housekeeping details eg. time and length of meeting breaks.
  • Keep to the agenda and time-frame.
  • Allow time at the beginning of the meeting to add additional items to the agenda.
  • Facilitate discussions and avoid introducing their own opinion unless it’s necessary.
  • Clarify ‘Actions’: ensure that it is clear what is to be done by whom and when.
  • Thank everyone for attending the meeting, offers appropriate closing words.

This is the person responsible for recording the ‘Minutes’– the record of meeting proceedings which should be recorded from the start of the meeting until it closes. Minutes should include all the agreed decisions and tasks from each meeting. The minute-taker does not record everything that is said; but they should record the following:

  • Meeting time, date and venue
  • Names of those present and any apologies
  • Name of meeting chair or facilitator and minute-taker.
  • Meeting purpose.
  • The matters for discussion, agreed action points or decisions made and person responsible for and completion dates for those actions
  • Date, time, venue and purpose of next meeting


Motions are a formal proposal for consideration by a meeting and would involve change to the current practice. If possible it is a good idea to put the motion in writing before the meeting, as the secretary must accurately record it. Motions normally start with the word ‘that’ and must be clear and unambiguous, i.e. ‘that $300.00 be spent on a microwave for the kitchen’. The name of the person who put forward the motion and the person seconding it must be recorded in the minutes.


The agenda outlines what will be covered in the meeting. People attending the meeting should have an opportunity to contribute to the agenda before the agenda is completed and sent out. This Agenda is usually prepared by the meeting Chairperson.

A sample Agenda
  1. Welcome and opening
  2. Apologies
  3. Minutes of the previous meeting
  4. Matters arising from the minutes
  5. Correspondence
  6. Matters arising from the correspondence
  7. Formal agenda Items
  8. General business
  9. Reports (financial etc…)
  10. Date for next meeting

Follow Up

After the meeting has finished, the following jobs need to be carried out:

  • Action plans and follow ups confirmed.
  • Minutes checked by the chair or facilitator and the minute-taker.
  • The time-frame for circulation of minutes, new reports, background papers, and the next agenda arranged
  • Minutes circulated


Information in this article was sourced from the following websites: