Clarifying Aims and Purposes
Meetings aims or purposes should be at the top of every agenda. These are the key decisions that must be made or actions that must occur at the meeting. If you aren't clear on aims and purposes, don't meet.
Everything else on the agenda-topics, times, presenters, are the activities that, taken together, will accomplish the aims.
How to Clarify Your Meeting's Purpose
One way to clarify aims is to ask oneself, "Imagine the meeting is over. What do I hope will have happened?" When the agenda activities and time allocations have been decided, ask "If we complete these agenda activities, will we have accomplished our overall aims? Additions or adjustments in the agenda may be required.