Board meetings are a necessary part of any company or organization. They ensure that everyone is on the same page, updates are shared, important decisions are made, and progress is tracked. But if you’ve never been to a board meeting before, they can be pretty daunting.
Here’s a quick primer on everything you need to know about board meetings, from what goes into making meeting minutes to how to make sure your voice is heard.
The Basics Of Board Meetings
First things first: let’s cover the basics of board meetings. A board meeting is a meeting of the directors of a company or organization. The purpose of a board meeting is to discuss and make decisions about important company matters. Board meetings are typically held quarterly, but they can be held more or less often as needed.
Board meetings are usually governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, which is a set of rules and guidelines for how meetings should be conducted. These rules cover topics like how to call a meeting to order, how to elect a chairperson, how to conduct a discussion, and how to make decisions. If you’re going to be leading a board meeting, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with Robert’s Rules of Order so that you can keep the meeting running smoothly.
An agenda is a list of topics that will be discussed at a meeting. It is typically distributed in advance of the meeting so that participants can prepare for the discussion. The agenda serves as a guide for the meeting, helping to keep it on track and ensuring that all important topics are covered. It also allows participants to see what will be discussed and plan accordingly.
If you’re attending a meeting, be sure to ask for an agenda in advance so you can review it and come prepared with questions or comments.
Meeting minutes are a written record of what was discussed and decided at a meeting. Minutes should include the date, time, and location of the meeting, as well as the names of those in attendance and any absent members.
Meeting minutes can be helpful when trying to recall past decisions or discussions, or when members are unable to attend a meeting and need to be brought up to speed on what was covered. Minutes can also help resolve current issues by providing all board members with a common understanding of what was actually said and done at a previous meeting.
Taking And Approving Meeting Minutes
One of the most important parts of any board meeting is taking minutes. Minutes are an official record of everything that was discussed and decided at the meeting. Once approved, minutes become part of the corporate records. There is no set format for meeting minutes, but they should generally include:
- The name of the corporation
- The date, time, and location of the meeting
- The names of those present
- A summary of any presentations made
- A discussion of any action items
- The outcome of any votes taken
- The date of the next meeting
Minutes should be as detailed as possible, but they shouldn’t include every single word that was said during the meeting—just the highlights. If there are any controversial topics or decisions made, those should be noted in the minutes as well.
Once the draft minutes have been written, they must be reviewed and approved by the board at the next meeting. If revisions need to be made, those can be made at that time as well.
Making Your Voice Heard
If you’re not used to speaking up in large groups, it can be easy to get lost in a board meeting. But it’s important to remember that your voice matters just as much as anyone else’s in the room. If you have something important to say, don’t be afraid to speak up.
One way to make sure your voice is heard is to come prepared with specific questions or points you want to raise. This way, even if you’re feeling shy or intimidated, you’ll still be able to participate in the meeting and make your voice heard.
Board meetings are an essential part of every company or organization—but if you’ve never been to one before, they can certainly be overwhelming. By preparing your agenda items, understanding what goes into making meeting minutes, and being aware of how you can make your voice heard, though, you’ll be able to participate in any board meeting with confidence.
Blog received on Mail from Kamala Owens, Community Manager BoardPro