A well-written agenda for board meetings can ensure engaging and productive discussions and will focus on the most important issues of the company. Whatever the format of your meetings are held in person or online an organized agenda allows members to stay active throughout the duration.

A good agenda starts with a clear and concise call to order, which signals the start of the meeting as well as any other proceedings. It could include the name of the chairperson, as well as a brief statement of the purpose of the meeting.

The agenda for your board meeting should also include a short report or presentation from the CEO or executive directors on the current performance of the business and the key initiatives it has taken. It is also beneficial to include a section on board meeting agenda committee reports from the finance, governance and nominating committees, if required.

If your organization hosts guest speakers or an open forum discussions, you should allocate time for these. You should also leave space for announcements that are special, congratulations, or recognition. Also, you should leave space for future business issues that need to be discussed or follow-up on.

The tendency to get distracted by new topics for discussion is a typical issue that can disrupt the momentum of your meeting. Include a parking area at the end of the agenda, where you can debate new ideas. Also, include a rough estimation of how long each topic will take to debate. This will allow you to avoid overrunning the agenda for board meetings. If you aren’t able to make a decision on a topic, you can move it to the next board meeting to keep the agenda on track.