In a meeting in person or over video conference, board meetings must be focused on making decisions and setting agenda items. The best method to accomplish this is to follow a few simple rules for board meetings.

Before any formal business can be discussed, it’s crucial to ensure there’s the quorum. This is typically outlined in the bylaws of an entity, and requires a call in ensure that there are enough people present to vote.

The chair should then inquire whether there are any corrections or additions that members would like to make to the minutes of the previous meeting. If there aren’t any corrections or additions, the minutes can be approved.

After the old business is settled, you can begin a new business. The board should work through the agenda item by item, allowing for discussion and votes on each. The ideal is that the items for discussion should be scheduled prior to the beginning of the meeting. This is because it’s likely that discussions and analysis of these topics took place during previous meetings, on board calls, or one-on-one discussions with the individual directors.

It is important to establish clear rules for your speaking time in order to keep the meeting moving. Directors, for example should only speak after the speaker in front of them has finished. Furthermore nobody should interrupt another speaker regardless of the importance of their message. If a subject is taking up too much time, you might want to consider factors that influence professional ethics and decision making postponing it to the next meeting or organizing an interim call so that you can get it covered in a shorter time.

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