Write the Agenda

by Linda on July 3, 2017

Write the Agenda

The Format, the Timing and the Memorable Message.


Man writing agenda

Carol Walsh is a Mary Kay, executive director, and a former District Governor in Rotary.  I watched her, she taught me about having an agenda as she facilitated meetings.

          Carol’s printed agenda was always 14 point type and double spaced.

Every word she said, every single word she spoke,  was printed on that agenda which was many pages long.  By doing that she made sure she covered all the points she wanted to make.

Her meeting format was identical each week, topics on the agenda the information was different but the topics were the same every week.   There is feeling of comfort when you know what is going to happen next in a meeting.  If you missed a meeting, you knew that the next meeting you attended would be conducted in the same fashion.    There is comfort in knowing when when to listen more accurately at specific times during the meeting.

Carol’s format also paid attention to timing – She started on time and ended on time.  Everyone knew that at 12:05 p.m. the bell would ring for the Rotary meeting to begin. Everyone also knew that if they came at 12:06 p.m. they would be late, and perhaps incur a fine.

Carol also had a little surprise to make the meeting more memorable – a  joke, a  handout or  a silly thing from Oriental Trading, a memorable message as a reminder.

Since you are judged by those three items: format, timing and memorable, how do you think you will do?

Format:  Are people confused every time they come to a meeting you conduct? Is it always different and un-structured?

 Timing:  Are you always late? Are you using people’s time inappropriately, do you call a meeting that could be held on the phone?

Memorable Message:  Handouts/ Promotional Products – How will everyone in attendance remember this meeting a week later?  Are your handouts illegible or are they copies of copies. No handouts? What thought provoking item, based on the theme, will you give away?

It could be as simple as a “life saver” because your NFP is saving lives

Saving the best to last!!!


Very very Important  – not too much and not too little.  It’s your message !

Your meeting is your sales tool – It has to be as crisp, as clear and as memorable as the message being delivered.

BTW – One of the reasons Carol rose to be in a leadership position in both Mary Kay and Rotary  was because she had a message and was a professional in conducting her meetings. She gained the support needed to achieve her goals.    Carol had dyslexia. She wrote everything double spaced in 14 pt type so she could write and read less, and still get her message across.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kandas July 3, 2017 at 2:13 PM

I always use an agenda. I learned this from many years in Toastmasters. It keeps the meeting running smoothly and reminds the speaker to say on target. Thanks for a great post!


Linda July 4, 2017 at 10:10 AM

I too am an long time Toastmaster. Lots of great lessons there


Kathy Widenhouse July 3, 2017 at 2:45 PM

I love this! Carol’s approach is practical, gets results – and shows respect for those she leads. Great sound bite: “Your meeting is your sales tool.” Amen!


Fran July 3, 2017 at 6:20 PM

Yes, I agree if you want to keep on track, get all important points covered you need an agenda, and to run it as a proper business session, which helps to keep things on time. There is nothing worse than going to a meeting hearing people ramble on and not achieve anything.


Glenda Cates July 4, 2017 at 9:26 AM

I also run meetings and also events in Fort Worth and time is very important and you have to respect peoples time. Also you have to make sure you leave them wanting more. So I will be sharing this new message with my readers.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: