While I'm sure you have your favorite tips for conducting a successful meeting, I suggest following these 4 tips will get you started in the right direction that you can tweak as you see fit for your specific organization.
1. Room set-up
2. Agenda with appropriate background materials
3. Start on time and stick to the agenda
4. Robert’s Rules of Order
Conference room style with name tents in front of all members is a great way to set-up your room. The names should be on both sides of the name tent so it won’t matter what side of the table you’re on you’ll be able to see the persons name.
Once you’ve decided on an agenda with your board chair, get it out to the board in advance of the meeting. Keep it short and simple.
And always use the consent agenda to your advantage.
Start on Time and stick to the agenda
Do you create an annotated agenda for you and the board chair? If not, I suggest you do and it should have times on every item.
This will go a long way of keeping your meeting on schedule and productive. You don’t want any one board member to highjack the meeting with a subject matter that is not on the official agenda.
For a sample board agenda's and other materials from Bob Harris, Institute faculty member, go HERE. Or, go HERE for a great website on board agenda templates.
Robert’s Rules of Order (RRO)
If you stick to the process laid out in RRO I suggest you will find your meetings will run smoothly and on time. It keeps an orderly fashion to your meeting. And it’s very simple, motion to approve, do I have a second, discussion, all in favor, all appose? That’s it!
One final thought, keep your meetings to two hours or less. You need to be respectful to your volunteers and that they are spending time away from their businesses or organizations. Think of how you like meetings to run when you’re on someone else’s board.
Good luck in conducting your next great meeting!