Board meetings, regardless of whether they are held in person or via videoconference, should be focused on setting up actions items and making decisions. The best way to do this is by following a few simple board meeting procedures.

Before any official business is considered, it’s essential to ensure that there is an adequate quorum. This is typically outlined in the bylaws of an organization, and includes a call to verify that there is enough people in attendance to vote.

The chair can then inquire if there are any corrections or additions members would like to make to the minutes of the previous meeting. If none are found, they can be approved as written.

After the old business is settled, you can begin a new business. The board should go through the agenda item-by-item, giving time for discussion and voting. Idealy, the most important issues should be discussed prior to the beginning of the meeting. This is because the topics will likely to have been discussed and analyzed in previous board meetings, board calls or even one-on-one with directors in particular.

To keep the meetings moving it is essential to establish clear rules for speaking time. For example, directors should not speak until after the speaker who spoke before them has completed. No one should interrupt anyone other than the speaker, no matter the importance of their argument. If a topic is taking up too much time, consider postponing it to the next meeting, or even arranging an interim meeting so that you can discuss it in a shorter time.

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