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The outcome describes the expected results of the meeting—the product that participants will take away with them when the session is over. It should be closely linked to the purpose of the meeting. The outcome can be a written plan or new knowledge. It may include both task and process outcomes. It is registered with nouns and phrases, not verbs (an action plan, a solution, a decision, clarity, and informed staff are task outcomes, and a cooperative attitude, commitment, and motivated team members are process outcomes). For example, if the purpose of the meeting is to decide on a service project, the work will be the name or description of the project your team decided on.


Decide when and where to meet and what supplies you’ll need (computers, refreshments, chart paper). Choose a workable time and location for the people you will invite. Decide how long your meeting will be. Remember that energy and concentration in sessions drop after two hours. Try to keep your appointments in the 30-60 minute range.

The length of your meeting will depend on the content of your schedule, which is driven by the purpose and outcomes you’ve defined. When writing a plan, prioritize your topics and establish timeframes for each subject. Allow time for new business or unexpected issues towards the end of the meeting.

The written schedule should have the following information:

• Meeting time, location, purpose, and goals

• Agenda topics (include a sentence that would define each item and why your group is addressing it)

• Presenters for each topic, if appropriate

• Time allocation for each topic

• Type of action required (discussion, decision, announcement)


Determine who should attend the meeting. Essential attendees are those with relevant information or expertise, decision-makers, and anyone who might have a role in implementing your project outcomes.

Some of your meeting participants will have an assigned task. Typical meeting tasks include:

• Meeting leader or facilitator – Manages the meeting

• Timekeeper – Keeps track of time and reminds the group about planned times listed in the schedule

• Recorder – Keeps meeting minutes (who attended, who was absent, what was discussed, decided, postponed, etc.)


The official record of what happened at a meeting

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