Our tips on how to run a board meeting will help any CEO or chairperson line up with all of the must-haves and must-knows to run a productive board meeting. We'll give you advice and answer some of the most common questions on board meetings around the web. We'll also give you a run through our free board meeting presentation template to help you craft your slides for a board meeting. So, stick with us so you can run board meetings like a pro in no time!
What is a board meeting?
A board meeting is an official gathering of the members of a company's Board of Directors (or equivalent) to discuss business matters. It usually takes place once per month.
The purpose of a board meeting is to allow directors to share their views about the company's performance and future plans. The meeting may be held at the office of the company, or it may take place via video conference.
Board meetings typically last between one hour and two hours. They are often chaired by the CEO or another senior executive.
How often do board meetings take place?
Often held twice a year or every quarter, the frequency of board meetings truly depends on an organization's stage. Given the necessary direction, board meetings can happen as frequently as weekly or scheduled as sparingly as once a year.
When should I hold my next board meeting?
If you're looking to start planning your next board meeting, we recommend starting now. You don't want to wait until the end of the fiscal year or even the beginning of the new fiscal year to set dates for your next board meeting.
Why is holding regular board meetings important?
Regular board meetings allow directors to share their thoughts and opinions regarding the company's performance and strategy. This gives them insight into what's going right and wrong within the company. It also allows them to provide feedback on the company's strategies.
Regular board meetings also ensure that everyone has equal access to information. All directors have the opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns about the company's progress. In addition, they can offer suggestions and ideas to improve the company's performance.
A primary goal of these meetings is to be as effective as possible, so bear in mind there's no sense in calling a board to gather for items that should be cleared otherwise.
What does a board chair do?
A board chair's role is to facilitate a board meeting following a company's mission, vision, and desired direction. To do so well, the board chair should keep an eye out for what's best for the company. Use leadership skills to allow that conversation to take place in a tone that goes hand in hand with the company's culture. Relevant to this role is the lack of right to vote, except when doing so will change the outcome of a decision. Another case is votes made by ballot.
A board chair will also work alongside a company's CEO or Executive Director to run a meeting that suits the board's priorities. Yet, a person in this role is also responsible for getting new board members and helping with their development.
In meetings, chairs will actively call upon each attendee to bring out their strengths for the best possible collective discussion. Once their role comes to an end, they'll also help find the next board chair to take their place.
Decide if a matter is best addressed in a committee. One of our tips on how to run a board meeting as a board chair is for you to freely designate a particular job as a task to a set group of people when most appropriate.
How do you conduct a board meeting?
A productive board meeting starts with a well-thought-out agenda that the board chair distributes ahead of time. This distribution should include any lengthy documents that the board needs to read in preparation for the meeting. As a tip, sometimes a quick phone call can keep many items from popping in a board meeting. If possible, call board members just to check in before a meeting. Doing so might clear an otherwise hectic air during a board meeting.
As to how to conduct a board meeting per se, start by setting an energetic and highly positive tone, and check if there's a quorum. If there is, call the meeting to order as we describe in detail below and go over the agenda. Ask for approval of the board to the items you just read. Make sure everyone agrees with what'll be covered exclusively during the session. Add, amend, or delete items as needed and then sign the minutes provided by the secretary.
Give room for reports from either the Executive Director or any committee, including the audited financial one. Move on to old, new, or other lines of business and do so orderly, keeping discussions within the scope of the company's best interest.
To close your board meeting, thank everyone present before you call the meeting to adjourn. Also, touch base with the Executive Director for any items before you work with the secretary on a final and closing record.
It's also great to send an email after the meeting to all board members with a summary of the most relevant aspects, including all action items that were discussed.
How do you call a board meeting to order?
Calling a board meeting to order is a matter of giving a quick statement with the precise start time and date of the meeting to literally let people know the session started. In case there are any new or retiring members, give them welcome or farewells where they are due, and acknowledge any visitors to the session.
How do you make a motion in a board meeting?
To include a motion for consideration, a board member simply needs to say they move a specific action. If seconded, which is mandatory and not tied to the affinity of content but to the motion taking place, then the motion can be discussed.
As a proposal for an action brought in front of a board, a motion allows the group to make decisions and give a company directions on particular areas. You should know there are different kinds of motions, including main, subsidiary, privileged, and incidental.
Now, let's move on to our set of tips on how to run a board meeting everyone will enjoy. How effective you make these is at the center of how pleased a board is to get their job done in a productive environment.
How to run an effective board meeting:
- Work alongside the company's CEO or Executive Director
- Create a meeting agenda and distribute it ahead of time
- Bring a board meeting presentation to keep items on track
- Be on top of your body language for the meeting
- Allow people to settle after they arrive
- Set a positive and engaging tone for the meeting
- To start, highlight the board meeting's purpose and its items for discussion
- Promote decision-making throughout the meeting
- Addresses confidentiality, conflicts of interest, or other policies when needed
- Close the session within the expected timeframe
How do you impress a board meeting?
It all starts with preparation. Before attending a board meeting, prepare thoroughly so that you will be able to answer questions and present your case effectively.
Prepare well by researching the company, its products and services, competitors, and industry trends. Know what information you want to share and how it will benefit the audience.
The more prepared you are, the better impression you'll leave with the board and others.
If you're presenting a report or another document, make sure it's written clearly and concisely to ensure the message gets across.
Don't forget to dress appropriately and look professional.
Create a board meeting presentation
Bringing a board meeting presentation to a session will help keep the meeting on track, and the audience engaged. Our free board meeting presentation template is a perfect example of the necessary slides to make a board meeting the most effective use of everyone’s time.
After a cover slide that follows a clear agenda, we give you room for:
- meeting highlights
- graphs on revenue
- monthly user figures
- user churn data
- monthly revenue
- the vital annual run
Yet, we also accommodate team updates in a slide, including KPI updates, a specific section for you to outline the roadmap, a slide for core acquisition channel updates, and business development.
We also order business development notes visually unto a slide. And we made room for financial and operational updates followed by profit & loss charts and milestone displays. Our last slide concedes formalities.
Give our template a try or let our team of professional designers exclusively polish your content and design. We’re here to help you any way you need! Best of luck running your next board meeting!