meeting agenda is an important tool for the smooth running of a community. It
should be distributed to each meeting attendee and followed in similar fashion
each meeting. A good and predictable agenda will allow you to accomplish your
community's goals and present a professional appearance; important for members,
prospective clients, and prospective students of CoachInc.com alike.
Meeting agendas will vary from community to community for various reasons. Community
size, community organization, location, and meeting type (virtual vs. live)
to name a few. In addition, if a community has elected to formally incorporate,
i.e., as a non-profit, most states will require that certain reports
be made with each meeting and recorded for the record. There is an agenda
format to fit every type of community so feel free to consult with other
communities to find out what might work for you.Meeting Length
Generally, 2 hours is considered ideal. Virtual communities seem to work best
with a 1 hour format. And, it is important to stick to your agreed-to length. I
suggest that in your announcement/invitation you allow 30 minutes up front to
welcome newcomers, the media, potential CoachInc.com students and prospective clients. A short
welcome followed by an open floor for questions allows for a full 1 1/2 hour
meeting that, after all, is for the benefit of community members.
Up front, it is a good idea to announce that materials
for newcomers will be available at the conclusion of the full meeting. It is
best not to hand out materials beforehand as it tends to distract from the
meeting. Hint: If a media representative is present have a plan. Your knowledge
of media relations and our profession can make or break the impression you make.
I recommend you check the ICF PR reference materials at coachfederation.org.
Along with meeting agenda preparation ensure that the refreshments are available.
Whether at the back of the room or at the table, depending on your setup,
refreshments allow for a comfortable atmosphere.1.
2. Review/Approval of Minutes
- Encourage newcomers to sit up front. Make them comfortable.
- Introduce yourself and your co-host.
- Announce any guests, new CoachInc.com students, the media, as appropriate. Invite them to
stand and introduce themselves.
- General statement of purpose. It is always a good idea to
remind ourselves that we are here for community and professional skills advancement.
For the benefit of newcomers it helps to elaborate by saying that we achieve
this through the use of role plays, hot seat coaching, discussion of CoachInc.com class materials,
and guest speakers AND that sharing and interaction are encouraged.
This explanation is for our own benefit and gives the newcomer a "heads up" as
to where the meeting is going and when it will end.
3. Treasurers Report
- Keeping meeting minutes is critical. Whether small, live, virtual, huge or
formal, good minutes give the community continuity and forward motion.
- This piece can be as formal as you deem necessary. It will be required for
a formally incorporated community. For most communities this can be a reminder
for everyone to "pitch in" for refreshments or to not forget to sign up and
pay for next month's dinner.
5. Old Business
- This is a place for committee chairs to report on the their committees's
status on various projects or programs. For example:
- Live Event Committee
- Media Relations/PR Committee
- Annual Dinner Committee
- Again, this wholly depends on the nature of your community.
6. New Business
- This is where the keeping of detailed minutes is important. Were there
decisions made at last month's meeting that required action?
- Are there projects, preparations in process for future activities?
- Are there community needs to be addressed?
- Does a member have an idea for a community program or project?
Time allotted for numbers 1-5 should be kept to no more than 20 minutes. If more
time is needed then it might be a good idea to schedule a separate business
meeting.7. Professional Skills Development
- This should be the core of your meeting. It is best
to make this as interactive as possible. If a speaker is scheduled, do your
best to allow time for interaction at the end of the presentation. Otherwise,
use role playing, hot seat coaching, discussion around Top Tens (available at
http://topten.org/). Allow about 1 hour for this
portion of your meeting. And, plan, plan, plan. Create your topics well ahead
of your meeting. Plan the role play, plan the hot seat, plan the discussion.
- Take this time to recap your meeting and to thank everyone for their
- Remind everyone of the time and place of your next meeting.
- Thank newcomers for their attendance and invite them to take a copy of
Becoming a Coach if they wish.