The board chair’s position is unique, with distinct tasks and obligations from those of the other members. One of the duties is facilitating conversation among the board members and allowing each one a chance to speak. A strong chair encourages engagement from all participants and allows opposing parties to make their cases. Usually, the chair does not participate in the discussion; instead, he or she encourages it among the other participants. Upon request from the member moving the motion, the chair may help members formulate their moves. Normally, the chair abstains from voting, but there are two situations in which they must: when the vote is by ballot or when their vote might have an impact on the result.
To conduct a board meeting, follow these steps:
- identify a quorum
- opening the meeting and accepting the agenda and minutes
- message-sharing and reporting
- every type of business
- end the meeting.
We go into greater depth about these stages below.
Identify a Quorum
The chair must first ascertain whether a quorum is in attendance in order to know how to conduct a board meeting. The organization’s charter or bylaws specify what constitutes a quorum. A simple majority is a deciding factor if the quorum is not explicitly stated.
Ordering the Meeting into Session
The chair will make a brief announcement to officially declare the meeting open as the following item on the agenda. The chair then addresses any matters that are formal or of a personal character, such as welcoming guests and new members and thanking departing members.
The Agenda Being Approved
The chair then goes on to the topics on the agenda. To approve the agenda, the chair will ask the audience. A member’s requests for agenda additions, modifications, or removals may result in the altered agenda being accepted without a vote.
The Minutes for Approval
Taking care of business from previous meetings comes first when running a good board meeting. The minutes of the previous meeting must be approved by the board before any formal business can be performed. The chair will then inquire whether there are any corrections to the minutes from the audience.
The chair declares that the minutes are accepted as drafted if there are no corrections.
The chair requests the members to review and approve any revisions that members might make to the minutes. You can accomplish this without conducting a formal vote.
The chair may call for a vote if there is a disagreement over whether an amendment should be adopted.
The chair says, “If there are no other modifications, the minutes stand approved, as corrected,” after the members have approved the minutes.
The chair would then sign the minutes to make them official once the secretary had recorded any changes to the current meeting’s minutes.
In case you need a refresher, we have already written on how to take minutes at a board meeting.
Transparency and Reports
Hearing reports from the Executive Director and any standing or special committees is the following phase in the procedure for running a board meeting. First, the reporting member makes a motion to adopt any recommendations the committee wishes to make. If not, the report is submitted without further action.
Members should read financial reports to stay informed, but unless it is an audited report, no action should be made in response to them. After the annual, audited financial report, a vote should be held.
Items that have already been discussed by the board and are ready for formal approval are referred to as “old business.” The chair requests permission to advance any topics that require more discussion to the meeting’s discussion section. All other matters should be put to the vote, approved, tabled, or postponed.
A New Company
The chair will announce new business items one at a time once the old business has been concluded and allow for discussion. If it is wise or necessary, the chair may ask the participants to rearrange the agenda items.
The moderator should encourage conversation and debate while eliciting a wide spectrum of viewpoints. The chair may set a time restriction on the discussion if it goes on for too long. The topic may be put to the vote, amended, tabled, referred to the committee for review, or postponed following the discussion.
The chair opens the floor for members to bring up any additional items that don’t need to be discussed, like announcements. Items for future discussion could be included in other businesses so that members have time.
Closing the Meeting
The chair acknowledges the guests and adjourns the meeting. Before the secretary records the meeting’s official record, the chair should follow up with the executive officer and review any areas of the meeting that need further discussion.
The entire board or the organization may suffer as a result of a poorly organized board meeting. Therefore it’s critical to stay on track and avoid potential hazards. A capable chairman knows how to conduct a board meeting effectively and organizes in advance, keeping the meeting on schedule. Additionally, he or she manages interruptions and restrains individuals who are overly enthusiastic. Open conversation is encouraged in productive meetings, which prioritize strategic advancement for the good of the entire business.