Every successful conference call starts with an agenda.
- Before the call, the agenda tells participants what they need to prepare.
- During the call, the agenda keeps the discussion on-topic and on-time.
- After the call, the agenda is a reference, documenting decisions and assignments.
A good agenda does more than just list items—it drives effective action. Here are some of the best agendas we’ve found.
For Calls That Require Preparation
This template accompanies a smart tutorial on effective meetings by organizational psychologist Roger Schwartz. His agenda template contains three simple columns—topic, preparation needed, and proposed process. Within each topic, you add who is responsible, why the topic is included, and the time allotted. [Harvard Business Review]
For Calls About Urgent Problems
When you need to problem solve on the spot, discussion and action must happen together. Use this template. Items included are a situation report, a solution constraints discussion, brainstorming, and next steps. This template is from Lucid Meetings, a consulting firm that helps companies have better meetings. [Lucid Meetings]
For Calls That Will Lead To Many Action Items
This template is the one marketing expert Daniel Burstein uses. Along with agenda items, it dedicates space to action items—including who is responsible and the due date. This serves as both an agenda and documentation. [MarketingSherpa]
For Calls That Require Robust Documentation
An extensive, three-page agenda. Page one covers the details and planned topics of the meeting. Page two is for noting items that should be covered at the next meeting. Page three is a place to document the meeting’s minutes. [4Good]
For Calls By Project Or Product Managers
This combination agenda and minutes template is designed for project or product managers. It includes dedicated areas for both opportunities and risks. [TechWhirl]
For All-Hands Company Calls
Company meetings are a unique case—they must be heavily stage-managed to keep the whole company interested, but without leaving out important information. This agenda template organizes meeting sections by business area. It should fit most companies. Read the accompanying article with tips for CEOs on how to run these meetings. [Geckoboard]
Like a pyramid, this template starts with the most important information—the goals of the meeting—then has an area for each agenda item. Each item has a column to note the type of discussion (info sharing, discussion) and whether a decision is required. [Vanderbilt University]
For Calls With Cross-Functional Teams
This simple agenda is designed for working teams to share successes, important information, and business updates. [Lucid Meetings]
Basic Conference Call Meeting Templates
These agenda templates aren’t designed for any specific purpose. If none of the categories above fit your call, or if you want something simple, choose one of these.
Classic Meeting Agenda: A basic outline that feels simple and casual. [Microsoft Office]
Business Meeting Agenda: This formal agenda has a column for the beginning and end times of agenda items, to help keep the meeting on track. [Microsoft Office]
Meeting Minutes: This template serves as both a formal agenda and a recap document. [Microsoft Office]
Modern Meeting Agenda: This template is set up as a conference agenda, but can be altered for any meeting. Of the Microsoft templates, this has the most modern, clean look. [Microsoft Office]
Classic Meeting Agenda: This template is organized in outline form. It has space to include a company logo. [Smartsheet]
Conference Call Meeting Agenda: This template includes an area for details specific to conference calls. [Smartsheet]
Business Meeting Agenda: This template includes an area for preparation requests for meeting attendees, and suggestions for meeting topics. The suggested topics are Action Items From Previous Meetings, Agenda Items, and New Action Items. [Vertex42]
Meeting Agenda Template: A basic agenda with a line for each item, with how long that item’s supposed to be talked about and who is responsible for it. If you use Evernote you can save this to the program. [Evernote]
Designing Your Meeting Template
Your meeting agenda also sends important signals about how you want the call to go.
If you want a more free-flowing conversation, keep the agenda light. If you have a lot to get through, you’ll want a more detailed agenda.
The design of your agenda should match the meeting’s tone. A get-to-know-you meeting or a simple check-in might have a casual, maybe even whimsical agenda design. But consequential calls like performance reviews or audit report presentations should have more formal agendas.
Hopefully one of these agendas will fit for your call—if you have a request for another type of agenda template, or even better, want to share the template you use, let us know in the comments.