Online board meetings are an excellent method directors can be part of the decision-making process without having to travel. However, like any other type of meeting, there are a few problems that could make the online meeting less effective than in-person meetings. For example, internet connections can become slow or devices can restart at inconvenient times. By following the best practices to facilitate productive virtual meetings, however, you can ensure streamlined process and high-level engagement among members of the board.
A clear agenda is the first step to an online meeting that’s successful. A clear agenda, with each topic clearly defined, will improve efficiency and ensure that the meetings stay on schedule. The agenda should be distributed to attendees at least a week before the meeting to allow them to read it and give feedback. This gives attendees the opportunity to plan questions or conduct research prior to the meeting.
During the actual meeting, the chair must be attentive to everyone. This will prevent one person from dominating online board meeting the discussion. All attendees should use a mic and speak clearly. The chair should also be aware of any person who has difficulty using the technology and encourage them speak up. The chair should not be using slides to present information in meetings. Slides can be distracting and take a long time to read.
Once the meeting has concluded, the chair should be sure to record the minutes of the event and store them to be able to refer to them in the future. The minutes should contain the most detail possible but should not include any personal opinions or informal discussions which aren’t pertinent to the issue at present.