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Having an agenda prepared before each meeting is an important time management tool. The agenda will lay out for the attendees how the meeting is suppose to flow, what topics will be discussed and most importantly in what order. Most meetings are conducted with a time completion goal (for instance, one hour to three hours) with an agenda you can keep your meeting flowing along in expectation to meet your time goal for completion.
The agenda should be prepared in advance. If the meeting is for a small group of people, for instance, a board of directors the agenda should be provided in advance, enough in advance for the attendees to review and be prepared for discussion. If the meeting is a more of broad or general meeting you might want to simply post the agenda a day in advance or hand out for those in attendance to review before the meeting starts.
The agenda is an important time management tool to be utilized by the person running the meeting. All others should use it to follow along. The "time keeper" of the meeting will be responsible for adhering to the pre set schedule and should have developed methods that will allow him/ her to keep the meeting on track and flowing through the agenda items in a timely manner.
Don't dismiss the importance of this schedule. The agenda will save you time and money if used developed and used properly.