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A board meeting can be a stimulating and enjoyable experience. It’s not simple to lead a successful meeting. As chairperson, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the meeting is productive and that everyone is fully involved. If you go off course, it can cost you dearly, especially as board decisions affect the rest of your organization.

Send the board members an agenda with a specific date in advance. Make sure the agenda outlines the reason for each item being discussed: is it to inform or gather information to make a decision? Understanding the purpose behind each topic can help you manage your time and avoid becoming distracted.

Make sure to discuss any old business issues that need a vote and are ready for approval before moving on to new business issues. You don’t want to waste the entire time of your meeting on these issues. Instead you should give each issue the attention it deserves. Consider moving items that are not being addressed to the next agenda item or asking that a future report be discussed at a later time in the event that you feel your board is spending too much time discussing these items.

If your board meetings are held online Encourage participation by allowing participants to raise their hands when it’s their turn speak. This will help the chair of the board recognize everyone and keep the discussion on track. Ask everyone to turn off their microphones when not speaking. This will help stay clear of distractions like pets or children. Also, plan your online meetings around regular meal times to stop people from eating on camera.

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