Chair Your Meeting in These 9 Steps
Whether your meeting is formal or more informal, the following procedure is generally accepted meeting practice:
Open the meeting by introducing yourself (if necessary) and welcome all the attendees. Cover any housekeeping issues like turning off cell phones, where the coffee is and where the restrooms are, etc.
Introduce any important guests and have attendees introduce themselves if required.
Confirm the purpose of the meeting by reviewing and approving the agenda. Make any last-minute changes as required.
Review the minutes from the last meeting and make any necessary corrections.
Next on the agenda are reports. Ask for reports with updates on any developments since the last meeting.
Address any unfinished business since the last meeting. Address these before moving onto new business items on the agenda.
Introduce new business. If possible, get firm decisions from the attendees as it ensures less unfinished business next time around.
Bring up any announcements that the attendees should be made aware of.
Conclude the meeting. This is a good opportunity to make sure that everyone leaves the meeting knowing precisely what deliverables they are responsible for.
If hosting a more formal meeting, consider using Roberts Rules of Order (newly revised). Originating back in 1876, Major Henry Robert of the US Army published the first edition in order to assist group meetings in parliamentary procedure. Since then it has been updated ten times and has become the standard by which most successful business and board meetings are held. Roberts Rules of Order helps organizations conduct efficient meetings presided over by a chair or president who is responsible for running the meeting according to the book’s rules. A digital summary of Roberts Rules of Order is available online and is a valuable tool for groups wanting to follow parliamentary procedure.