How to Host a Successful Board Meeting

A board meeting can be productive and engaging. But running the board meeting successfully isn’t a simple task. As chairperson, it is your responsibility to ensure that the meeting is productive and that everyone is involved. If you go off course, it can cost you dearly, especially as decisions taken by the board affect other members of your business.

Begin with a clearly defined agenda that’s distributed to board members ahead of the time. Make sure you provide an explicit description of the purpose behind each item on the agenda: Does it inform, gather information, or reach an agreement? Understanding the goal of each issue will help you manage your time more effectively and avoid getting distracted.

Take care to address any old business items that require a vote and are ready to be ratified before moving on to new business issues. It isn’t a good idea to spend all of your time discussing these items. Instead, give each issue the attention it deserves. If you feel that your board must spend too much time discussing old business, consider pushing them onto the agenda for the next meeting or requesting a future report to be discussed at a subsequent meeting.

Encourage participation by allowing participants to raise their hands when it’s their turn to speak. This helps the chair of the board to recognize everyone’s voice and keep the discussion on the right track. Also, ask everyone to mute when they’re not speaking to prevent distractions from children or pets. Make sure to schedule your online meetings away from normal mealtimes to ensure that people don’t eat on cameras.