Committee Meetings

Find Out What You Need to Do to Chair Dynamic Board Meetings

How do you lead a group of leaders? Since members of a board meeting possess outstanding leadership skills themselves, it might seem like the meeting requires little guidance from you. The opposite, however, is true. Effective leaders tend to think a great deal and hold strong opinions and beliefs. Therefore, the key to learning how to chair a board of directors meeting is to prevent tangential debates and firmly steer the board toward its goal.

Your role as chair is managerial. You can let board members show their own leadership skills during the meeting as long as everyone works toward achieving the meeting goal. If you need guidance through the management duties involved in all three aspects of chairing a board meeting, consider using meeting software.

The Three Aspects of How to Chair a Board of Directors Meeting

  1. Planning to chair a board meeting
  2. Chairing a board of directors meeting
  3. Reviewing a board meeting

1Planning to chair a board of directors meeting

Start planning a board meeting by setting a meeting goal and learning what the board of directors expects of you as meeting chair. Discuss these points with each board member separately to collect information. Next, highlight the meeting goal and use board-member feedback to set the meeting procedure and rules. This gives a board meeting the structure and organization it needs to proceed efficiently. If the meeting goal requires creative problem solving, lean toward fewer rules in order to encourage more free thinking and active collaboration.

Once you've identified the meeting goal and set the rules and procedure, it's time to create a meeting agenda. Since you'll work with executive board members on this, you'll probably go through numerous agenda iterations. Meeting software promotes quick meeting agenda creation because it lets you shift scheduling and meeting roles by clicking and dragging. Collaborators can see the agenda on their own computer screens and agree on a final iteration instantly from wherever they are located.

See how meeting software makes it easy to plan board meetings!

2Chairing a board of directors meeting

Start the meeting by welcoming everyone and doing introductions if any new members have joined. Review the meeting minutes from the previous meeting if necessary and then go over the meeting agenda, procedure, and rules.

As board members take turns covering their assigned agenda items, keep an eye on the time to make sure the meeting sticks to the schedule you've set. If board members wish to share their thoughts during the meeting, make sure they do so according to the rules and procedure you've outlined.

While these managerial duties are important, chairing a successful board of directors meeting depends on your ability to help the group reach decisions. This is also where meeting software is especially helpful. It lets you instantly disseminate information to everyone and helps the group review pros and cons and take votes. In the decision-making phase of the meeting, you as the chair can also encourage brainstorming, sharing of opinions, and questions.

Meeting software can also help you conclude a board of directors meeting the right way. It can auto-generate meeting minutes, which you can then use to recap the work the board has accomplished, review its decision or agreement, and remind board members of individual tasks to be accomplished afterward.

Lead more successful board meetings with meeting software!

3Reviewing a board meeting

Much of the work for chairing a board of directors meeting comes after the meeting's taken place. Start by distributing professionally formatted meeting minutes to the board members. Next, manage meeting tasks you assigned during the meeting by reminding board members of their duties. A board meeting's effectiveness often depends on the successful completion of these tasks. After the deadline for finishing these tasks has passed, analyze the meeting to see what you can improve on next time. Meeting software lets you collect feedback from meeting attendees and analyze costs versus benefits, helping you make adjustments that lead more effective and productive board of directors meetings.

Analyze and improve board meetings with meeting software!

Tips on how to chair a board of directors meeting

  1. Consult board members—especially executives—beforehand to learn what's expected of you as meeting chair.
  2. Don't make exceptions to the rules and procedures you've laid out—following them maintains order.
  3. If any business from one meeting goes unfinished, make sure to address it first thing at the next board meeting.

Why use meeting software to chair a board of directors meeting

  1. Create and modify the meeting agenda in less time
  2. Auto-generate and distribute professionally formatted meeting minutes instead of creating and emailing them yourself
  3. Assign tasks on the fly during meetings and auto-remind meeting attendees of these duties to ensure their completion
  4. Improve successive board of directors meetings using analytics

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