When it comes to board meeting success, the tone in the room is as much as the content. Board members are enthusiastic and are willing to listen to the discussion if they are engaged. The environment the board meetings are held in is a major factor in this, so think about the following suggestions for stimulating and facilitating productive meetings:
Make a clear agenda and distribute it to everyone in attendance. Include specific time limits for each discussion item in order to keep the discussion moving and avoid getting sidetracked. Limiting discussions to 30 minutes per session will keep the board from getting overwhelmed by non-essential topics.
Create the meeting as simple as you can for your board members. Ask them to turn off any notifications and close all programs that could affect their bandwidth when you’re holding a virtual meeting. This will make the meeting run smoothly and ensure that all attendees can be heard and viewed clearly.
If necessary, provide refreshments. This is particularly crucial for a meeting that is held after dinner the day’s work. This will help your board members remain focused and engaged.
Start the meeting with a brief success story that will remind your board members of the organization’s goals and the current initiatives. It can also inspire them to continue working hard towards the organization’s goals. Finally, make sure that there is a quorum before you open the meeting. This is an essential step that can have a significant impact on the outcome of the meeting. Typically, this is accomplished through a roll-call where everyone raises their hands when their name is called.