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Board meetings are an essential element of any successful business. With the right planning and follow-up, your board of directors can make decisions that will propel the company forward. The best method to increase your board’s efficiency is to keep the discussion focused and stick to the agenda. This ensures that your meeting is smooth and that all important issues are discussed thoroughly.

Set up and distribute an agenda for the board meeting in advance. This allows the board members to review the agenda prior to the meeting and be prepared to share their insights. This ensures that the board members are on the same level regarding what information is needed to be covered when.

Start promptly. This can help everyone feel active, engaged and energized. It will also encourage regular attendance. It can be tempting for committee members to spend all of their time reading reports. This is often a waste because the committee chair should have read these reports prior to the meeting.

Keep discussions focused on agenda items and set time limits for each subject. This demonstrates respect for the time of your board members’ commitments and assists in making sure all the essential discussions are conducted during the meeting. The noncontroversial items can be voted on by a consensus agenda, which will allow time for more in-depth discussions of strategic topics during the board meeting.

Keep the minutes as clear as you can. Use a template based on the agenda, which includes items like a list of the people who are present, headings of the topics to be discussed and draft resolution language to support the decisions that are being made. Visual tools for managing projects allow you to take notes at the same speed as the board’s discussion and organize them afterwards for easy distribution.

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