5 Things The Pros Do Before Every Board Meeting

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Whether you are a seasoned board member or fresh meat, it is important that you are prepared for board meetings.

Preparation not only enables you to participate more thoroughly, but you also appear more professional and reliable. Here are five things you can do to be more prepared for your board meetings.

1. Work the agenda

If you’re a board member, make sure your items got added to the agenda, and get a copy of the agenda in advance. An agenda is the key aspect that keeps board meetings moving and on topic.  Assuring your items are included prevents frustration, and makes it likely your needs will be addressed. If you’re the board chair, it is your responsibility to make sure the agenda has been created and sent to the secretary ahead of time. Feel free to add or remove any superfluous items, but make sure that you cover any past events or events in the near future. 

2. Contact key people

Be sure to contact anyone that is vital for the meeting, including committees, outside resources, or the board itself well in advance of the meeting. If you are the board chair or the secretary, it may be your responsibility to send out emails or phone calls to remind the board where and when the meeting will take place. It may also be a good idea to warn the board members what the main topic of discussion will be and any materials they should bring.

3. Complete any previous tasks

Going along with contacting key people, it is important to finish any tasks or assignments before the board meeting. Any committee work or research you are given should be done and ready to present so that each meeting can be productive and efficient. Everyone understands the feeling of working with someone who doesn’t pull their weight; strive not to be that person.

4. Make sure secretary is doing their job

Though this is generally a tip for board chairs and secretaries, every board member should know the regular responsibilities of the secretary. Previous board minutes and agendas should generally be available on the neighborhood website, so absent board members can review past meetings or community members can participate. Secretaries also need to be ready to take new board minutes at each meeting, an important, and required, aspect of every meeting.

5. Be familiar with parliamentary procedure

While this tip is more for newer members, but it’s still an important part of any meeting. Parliamentary procedure allows the board to function in a healthy, legal manner that distinguishes everyday conversation and board of director meetings. Every board member should familiarize themselves with how to make and pass motions, take a vote, and adjourn a meeting.

Being on a board of directors can be an incredible opportunity to do good in your community or organization. Without board meetings, many organizations would be much more chaotic. Make the most of every meeting by being prepared and ready to work!


Source: Neighborhood Link - Sabrina Robinson
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