A board meeting can be productive and engaging. It’s not easy to conduct a successful meeting. As chairperson, it is your responsibility to make sure that the meeting is productive and everyone is actively involved. A decision that is not on the right track can be costly for your business, especially if they affect others.

Begin with a detailed agenda that is sent to board members ahead of the scheduled time. The agenda should clearly state the reasons for each item being discussed: is it to inform, gather information, or arrive at a decision? Understanding the purpose behind each issue will help you manage your time more effectively and avoid getting distracted.

Before proceeding to other business items take note of any items that require the participation of a vote or are in the process of being to be voted on. Be cautious not to let these issues consume the majority of your board governing documents meeting time as you’ll need to give each matter the time it deserves. If you’re concerned that your board must spend too much time on old business, you might consider adding the agenda to the agenda of the next meeting or requesting a new report to be presented in an upcoming meeting.

Encourage participation by allowing attendees to raise their hands when it is their turn to speak. This helps the board chair recognize everyone and keep the discussion on track. Request everyone to turn off their microphones when not speaking. This will help keep away distractions like children or pets. Also, schedule your online meetings outside of meals to keep people from eating in front of cameras.