Tips for Board Meeting Preparation

Board meetings are crucial for making strategic decisions, establishing corporate policies, and much more. Yet, these meetings are often boring and full of routine items that are time-consuming to prepare for. While it may seem as if the tedious task of preparing for an annual board meeting is another administrative burden, properly-prepared directors can create a positive impression for the board members beyond the surface.

Begin planning board meetings by creating a draft agenda that specifies the time for each item to be discussed. It is recommended to prepare the agenda with a set number of hours in mind to allow enough time to fully discuss each topic and allow for questions.

Once the agenda is prepared, send it out to board members so that they can begin to prepare. This should happen at minimum one or two days in advance of the meeting. Boards that use portals can collect and distribute all the documents needed for a meeting pressing the button.

You must decide the level of formality or casualness that your board’s meetings are to be. This will affect the structure of your meetings as well as the way you address other members. Certain boards, for instance, use Robert’s Rules of Order which is an official system that requires calling other board members “Mr.” and “Madam”. No matter what style you choose to implement it is beneficial to be familiar with the rules to ensure that you don’t fall by surprise at the first meeting.